Agricultural Waste

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Agricultural Waste

Agricultural Waste
Waste management legislation now prohibits
the uncontrolled burning of waste on farms
and the use of unauthorised farm tips.
Agricultural waste is subject to new rules. This leaflet
highlights how farmers must deal with their waste and
covers key areas of interest such as waste production
in agriculture; manure and slurry; burning agricultural
waste; and farm tips. Further information on a wide
range of waste issues is available from the Scottish
Environment Protection Agency website at:
www.sepa.org.uk and www.netregs.gov.uk.


Waste production in agriculture

For many years agricultural waste was excluded from the
regulations that controlled the management of
household, commercial and industrial waste in the United
Kingdom. On 21 January 2005 the Waste (Scotland)
Regulations 2005 brought agricultural waste under the
same regulatory regime as other commercial activities.

The types and quantities of wastes vary between farms.

This means that farmers have a duty to ensure that
they do not treat, keep or dispose of agricultural waste
in a manner likely to cause pollution of the
environment or harm to human health.
The environment, human health and agricultural practices
are intrinsically linked: environmental quality is crucially
important to agricultural production and the
management of agricultural waste has potential
to harm human health and the environment.
Waste legislation is intended to protect
the environment and human health for
the benefit of farmers and
The new legislation means
farmers need to
understand their legal
obligations and to
know about the
local services
available to help meet
them. It is best to minimise
waste at source and to
organise recovery for re-use,
wherever practicable.

Common agricultural wastes include:
• packaging;
• silage plastics;
• redundant machinery;
• tyres;
• netwrap;
• oils;
• batteries;
• old fencing;
• scrap metal; and
• building waste.
Other less common wastes include unused pesticides
and veterinary medicines, horticultural plastics
and spent sheep dip.
Further advice on specific agricultural
waste issues is given over:

Agricultural Waste

Manure and slurry

Farm tips

Manure and slurry can still be spread on a farm on the
condition that it is produced and used to deliver
agricultural benefit. SEPA recommends that its application
should be made in accordance with the code of practice
provided through Prevention of Environmental Pollution
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