Disposing of farm waste

There are a number of pieces of legislation which cover the disposal of farm waste. This article looks at the legal implications of disposing of common types of farm waste and the methods commonly used.

Disposal by means of incineration

Disposing of waste by means of incineration is covered by the Waste Incineration (England and Wales) Regulations 2002.

Disposal at landfill

The burying of general waste on farms is prohibited and there are limits as to what waste can be sent to waste disposal sites.

Any waste which is given to someone else for disposal by be accompanied by a “transfer note” (a written description of the waste). It is also the responsibility of the person whose waste it is to ensure that the person who is to dispose of it is authorised to take it.

Disposal of hazardous waste

There are strict controls relating to the disposal of hazardous waste.

Hazardous waste includes oil, pesticides, insecticides, herbicides, certain veterinary medicines, batteries, chemicals and containers which contained hazardous waste and have not been emptied, triple rinsed and drained.

Farms which produce more than 500 kilograms of hazardous waste per year are required to be registered as a hazardous waste producer with the Environment Agency.

Hazardous waste must be disposed of within 12 months. It can be disposed of at an authorised site (one which is licensed to receive hazardous waste) or by using authorised recovery methods.

When taking hazardous waste to an authorised site it is necessary to check what waste is permitted at the site. When employing a waste collector to collect hazardous waste it is necessary to check that they are authorised to take away and dispose of the waste.

Subject to certain exceptions, a consignment note is required whenever hazardous waste is moved and these should be kept for 3 years. Records should also be kept for at least 3 years showing the quantity of the waste, the type of waste, where the waste came from, its destination and how often that type of waste is moved. When employing a waste collector to collect hazardous waste records should also be kept for at least 3 years of the waste collector’s certificate, the environmental and site permit for the site that receives the waste and the way in which the waste is transported.

When disposing of hazardous waste it is also necessary to comply with health and safety regulations, including the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002.

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