Have your say on Waste Exemptions

The NFU is currently looking for member involvement in promoting the benefits of retaining agricultural waste exemptions. This is in light of the Environment Agency’s recent call for evidence to provide reasons as to whether some currently exempt waste operations should no-longer be deemed as low risk and therefore should become permitted

Waste exemptions were implemented to provide a light touch and proportionate approach to regulation and facilitated farmers who wanted to prevent waste from going to landfill by undertaking small-scale waste recovery operations. In some circumstances, they provide an opportunity for the farm-business to diversify and also reduce costs involved with hiring a waste contractor to remove waste from the farm.

The NFU appreciates that some waste operators exceed limits set in waste exemptions and action must be taken to tackle this issue; however it is important this does not affect the vast majority of farmers compliant with waste exemptions. As a result the NFU is hoping to produce a number of case studies demonstrating their benefit.

Common examples of waste exemptions which are used by farmers include:

  • Small-scale on farm plastic recycling facilities;
  • Use of tyres for silage clamps and to protect farm buildings;
  • Spreading small amounts of waste to land- including dredgings from canals and rivers, mushroom compost, soil from fruit and vegetable washings and ash from biomass boilers;
  • Use of construction and demolition material to construct farm tracks;
  • Burning small amounts of green waste in the open;
  • Some small-scale anaerobic digestion plants;
  • Using paper pulp or sawdust for animal bedding;

We are also asking members for any views they have in favour of restricting the scope of exemptions. For example if a local exempt waste site has any impact on your business, or if you feel you are more frequently the victim of fly-tipping due to exempt waste sites in the area.

If you are interested in discussing the benefits of the use of the exemptions you have, and any impact from it becoming permitted by the Environment Agency, please contact bWFydGluLnJvZ2Vyc0BuZnUub3JnLnVr

NFU members: Have your say

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  • Posted by: John CurtisPosted on: 29/08/2015 05:44:54

    Comment: Seems to me a general de minimus clause in the regulations regarding all waste reuse/recycling would make sense and decriminalize what is going on anyway.
  • Posted by: David HurnPosted on: 30/08/2015 17:17:01

    Comment: The existing exemptions, particularly spreading of dredgings, demolition material for roadways, burning of untreated wood are a sensible, pragmatic solution to a practical necessity. Licences would simply be a sledge hammer to crack a nut.
  • Posted by: John GarnerPosted on: 17/09/2015 19:08:41

    Comment: The existing exemptions are necessary in day to day farming & licences would solve nothing & just create more paperwork & 'red tape'
  • Posted by: Peter HoggPosted on: 17/09/2015 21:48:55

    Comment: Everything in the list, above, has actually got some sort of use and is therefore not a waste. These items should not have a derogation, they should not be on the list of wastes at all. Do not simply try to protect the derogation. My message to HQ is to go all out to remove this list altogether.

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