Buying an Incinerator

Selecting the right model for your needs is critical. There are a number of questions you need to ask yourself before starting on this journey. On this page we will cover the most commonly required information.

What are you burning?

Waste is broken down into a number of smaller categories, these are:

Animal Waste – bedding, carcasses, old feed, deadstock.
Medical Waste – sharps, dressings, pathalogical, pharmceutical
General Waste – domestic, office, industrial,
Hazardous Waste – radioactive, highly flammable and contagious.

NB: See our summary of things you should AND shouldn’t incinerate.

How much and how often?

Incinerator operators often decide on a batch loading system or in some cases rely on auto-feeders. Batch loading basically means burning your waste in smaller ‘batches’ hence the name. This can help the efficiency as it provides more room in the chamber for air to circulate. The one thing to bear in mind it that this approach is probably the most labour intensive as the operator will need to continually de-ash and reload the system.

Auto-Loading/De-Ashing can mean you simply load a waste ‘hopper’ with a large volume of waste a couple of times a day and the incinerator then pulls it in batch by batch and de-ashes in between.

If you are burning under 50kg per hour in the UK you do not need a permit*. As soon as you exceed that figure you will need to apply to your local authority for planning.

Where are you burning it?

On-site? remotely at other sites? – each of these would require different planning applications if burning in excess of the 50kg threshold.

If your incinerator is to be housed outside, then it is worth considering a solid concrete base for it to be sited on. You should also build a shelter to protect it from the elements. Although most incinerators are heavy duty products and extremely well built you should try and prolong their life as mush as possible.

Is there a residential area nearby?

You need to consider if there are houses nearby as this could affect whether you need a permit or not. Typically (providing its non-hazardous waste) they would expect you to increase the chimney stack height AND carry out some emissions testing to satisfy their concerns.

What fuel supply is suitable?

The cleanest and most efficient in terms of performance vs volume of fuel is natural gas. However the majority of units sold are actually diesel powered.


This isn’t a definitive list, but should mean you are fully equipped when going off to get quotations from Incinerator manufacturers in your area. If you need any further advice on local legislation of Permit requirements, please check the following websites: