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Municipal Solid Waste Registrations: Learning More

Learn more about following our progress and your options for participating as we review applications for municipal solid waste (MSW) facility registrations. Find out how a registered facility operates to protect your health and the environment and prevent nuisances.

What types of MSW facilities may be operated under a registration?

A registered MSW facility is a waste processing facility that operates under a registration instead of a permit. (See information about MSW facilities that require a permit instead of a registration.)

Types of registered MSW facilities:

  • Transfer station—a processing facility used for transferring solid waste from collection vehicles to long-haul vehicles for transfer to a landfill; may include material recovery and recycling, but does not include disposal of waste. Transfer stations can operate under a registration, instead of a permit, when:
    • serving a municipality population of less than 50,000 or a county population less than 85,000;
    • transferring 125 tons per day or less;
    • located within the permitted boundaries of an MSW landfill; or
    • recovering 10% or more of the waste stream.
  • Medical waste registration-tier facility—a facility that stores, transfers, processes, or treats medical waste received from off-site sources.
  • Liquid waste registration-tier transfer or processing facility—a facility that transfers or processes only grease trap waste, grit trap waste, septage, or a combination. These facilities can operate under a registration, instead of a permit, when:
    • Transferring 32,000 gallons per day or less;
    • recovering 10% or more of the incoming waste for beneficial use; or
    • located at a wastewater treatment facility permitted to discharge at least one million gallons per day and owned by a political subdivision of the state.
  • Mobile liquid waste processing unit—a mobile facility that processes only grease trap waste, grit trap waste, septage or a combination.
  • Landfill gas recovery facility—a facility that recovers landfill gas for beneficial use.
  • Compost registration-tier facility—a facility that composts municipal sewage sludge, organic materials separated from a municipal solid waste stream, disposable diapers, or soiled paper products.

What will this registration do?

To ensure that a registered facility is properly designed, constructed, and operated, a registration addresses issues such as:

  • dust, odor, attraction of pests, and windblown trash
  • surface water protection
  • access control
  • noise pollution

By obtaining a registration, the owners and operators of the MSW facility agree to follow its requirements.

Who is applying?

When you see a public notice about a registration application, look at the first paragraph to find the name of the applicant.

If you do not see the notice published in a newspaper, you can find public notices on our website:

What else can I learn about the applicant?

You can learn about this applicant and their plans by contacting them directly. The last paragraph in the public notice will tell you how to contact the applicant.

We also have ways you can learn about this applicant's history with us. For example:

  • Other facilities they have permits for
  • Other businesses they are related to
  • Their environmental track record

How can I learn what other people think about this?

On our website you can search for information about comments others have made about this application. Under Step Three be sure to choose "Include all correspondence...".

What if I have more questions?

Our Public Education Program can help you find the status of applications and tell you more about our permitting processes. Call PEP at 800-687-4040 or e-mail

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How can I follow the progress of an application for this registration?

Below is the basic process for an MSW registration application, and a basic description of your responsibilities if you wish to become involved—just be aware that variations can occur.

  • Publication of the Notice of Application and Opportunity to Request a Public Meeting for a New Municipal Solid Waste Facility. We call this notice a "NAORPM" (nay-or-pum). When our administrative review of the application is complete, we mail the NAORPM to the registration applicant for publishing and to a required mailing list of government officials and certain landowners.

    If the school closest to the proposed facility is required to offer bilingual education, the applicant is required to publish the NAORPM in a language other than English.

    The applicant is also required to post a sign at the proposed location of the facility.

    The NAORPM will tell you where you can look at a hard copy of the registration application. We also post links to MSW registration applications on our website.

    Once we mail the NAORPM, you may start submitting your comments. You may also request a public meeting or request to be added to the mailing list for future notices.

    See how to get added to the mailing list.

  • The period for public comment or to request a public meeting typically ends 30 days from the publication date of the NAORPM. If our executive director has scheduled a public meeting for a later date, the comment period will be extended until the end of that public meeting. For assistance in determining the extent of the comment period, call 800-687-4040.

    See more details on the public comment period.

  • Making public comments. If you make a comment, you will get a response from us. Here's how it works:
    1. We gather and respond to all comments submitted before the end of the public comment period.
    2. When two or more people make the same comment, we put their comments together and make one response to that group of comments.
    3. We put all comments and our responses in a document called our "response to comments."
    4. We send the response to comments to everyone who submitted a comment or requested to be put on the mailing list.

    See more details on the response to comment.

  • Requesting a public meeting. A public meeting allows the public to learn more about the application, ask questions of the applicant and TCEQ staff, and offer comments on the application.

    Anyone may ask for a public meeting any time between the date the NAORPM is mailed and the end of the comment period (see NAORPM notice above).

  • Protesting our executive director’s (ED's) decision to issue the registration. If we release our ED’s decision on a registration application, which is mailed with the registration document and the response to comments, you may request the commissioners to consider your protest by filing a Motion to Overturn the ED's decision.

    See more details on filing a motion to overturn.

How can I learn when these events happen?

Search: Commissioners' Integrated Database
Call: 800-687-4040

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