Agricultural waste is any substance or object from premises used for agriculture or horticulture, which the holder discards, intends to discard or is required to discard. It is waste specifically generated by agricultural activities.
For example, waste which came from a farm shop or a vegetable packing plant would not be agricultural waste.
Some examples of agricultural waste are:
- empty pesticide containers;
- old silage wrap;
- out of date medicines and wormers;
- used tyres;
- surplus milk.
Since 2006, agricultural waste has been subject to the same controls that have applied to other sectors for many years. On 15 May 2006, uncontrolled burning or tipping of waste on farms became illegal.
What you need to do
Find out about registering exemptions, moving waste, rules and regulations relating to manures and slurries, and dealing with hazardous waste on your farm.
Usually, any waste treatment, recovery or disposal activity needs to be carried out under an Environmental Permit. However, some low risk, small scale and less polluting activities may be exempt from permitting.
These activities are known as exemptions and need to be registered with the Environment Agency. Most farmers are carrying out activities which require exemptions to be registered. For example:
- burning plant material;
- using old tyres as silage clamps;
- spreading off-specification or surplus milk on land.
The exemption system changed on 6 April 2010. It is important you find out how the changes affect you.
Spreading waste on your land
Wastes are often spread on land for their fertilising properties or to improve soils however there are rules and regulations you must comply with when you spread certain wastes on your land.
If you are moving your own waste, or somebody comes to pick up waste from your farm, there are rules which you must comply with.
Manures and slurries
Manures and slurries are not waste when they are used directly as a fertiliser. However, there are other rules and regulations which apply.
Dealing with hazardous waste
You will almost certainly produce hazardous waste on your farm. There are special rules which you must follow when dealing with hazardous waste.