May 2006


England and Wales pass new controls on agricultural waste

London— Regulations passed in March 2006 apply waste management controls to agricultural waste for the first time in England and Wales.

The new regulations go into effect on May 15, 2006 and will apply the same controls on agricultural waste that have applied to all other sectors of industry for many years.

About 400,000 tons of agricultural waste is produced each year. It includes old pesticide containers, silage wraps, tires, batteries and oil. Manure and slurry are not a waste when used as a fertilizer.

Local environmental quality minister, Ben Bradshaw, stressed that farmers will need to stop using farm dumps immediately or farmers will face additional costs, “Farmers must stop using their farms dumps to dispose of their waste before the regulations come into force. Any farmer who continues to use a farm dump will be required to close it down in accordance with the requirements of the regulations.”

Farmers will have five basic options for dealing with their waste, which can be used on their own or in combination.

•Store their waste on-farm for up to 12 months.

•Take their waste for recycling or disposal off-farm at a licensed site.

•Get an authorized waste contractor to take their waste away.

•Register license exemptions with the Environment Agency to recycle or dispose of their waste on-farm. Farmers can register at any stage during the first 12 months of the regulations.

•Apply to the Environment Agency for a waste management license or a landfill permit to recycle or dispose of their waste on-farm. For most farmers obtaining a landfill permit for their farm dump will not be a viable option because of the engineering requirements and costs involved.

The Agricultural Waste Stakeholders’ Forum and the Environment Agency have developed and launched a Recycling Directory to help farmers find local sites that can take their waste.


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