Waste treatment facilities – General authorisation

General information

Facilities serving the treatment of waste which are subject to approval according to the Abfallwirtschaftsgesetz (Waste Management Act – AWG) may be established and operated only with official authorisation. There is a simplified authorisation procedure for certain types of facilities.


The AWG lists certain facilities that are not subject to this authorisation and have to be approved according to other legal regulations (e.g. the Gewerbeordnung).

Enterprises affected

Operators of facilities serving the treatment of waste which are subject to approval according to the AWG.


The competent body will grant the authorisation if the treatment facilities meet the following requirements:

  • Human life and health are not threatened.
  • Emissions of pollutants are in every case limited in accordance with the state of the art.
  • Neighbours are not troubled by noise, odour, smoke, dust, vibrations, or in any other unacceptable way.
  • The property and any other material rights of neighbours are not threatened (threat to property does not mean the possibility of a mere loss in market value).
  • Unavoidable wastes accumulating in the operation of the treatment facilities are prepared for re-use, recycled or recovered in any other way in accordance with the state of the art or – if this is not acceptable from an economic point of view – are duly disposed of.
  • Other public interests are taken into account.
  • The additional requirements applying in the authorisation procedure are met.
  • Treatment obligations are complied with.


In good time prior to the establishment and operation of, or major change to, the facilities

Competent authority

  • The Provincial GovernorGerman text
  • The Provincial Governor may delegate procedures and supervision to the district administrative authority [Bezirksverwaltungsbehörde].


Usually authorisation procedures for stationary and mobile waste treatment facilities are handled as follows:

  • Filing of application
  • Fact establishment (maybe including a hearing which involves persons having party status such as, in particular, neighbours)
  • Decision (if necessary specifying terms and conditions)

Legal bases

Abfallwirtschaftsgesetz (Waste Management Act – AWG)

Last update: 23 January 2024

Responsible for the content: Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology