Agricultural Waste

England and Wales

A large proportion of agricultural waste consists of manures and slurry, which can be applied to the land adding nutrients and organic matter. Such wastes currently fall outside the scope of the legal definition of controlled waste in England and Wales. Other farm wastes are also largely outside of the definition of controlled waste in these areas and so have been exempt from the requirements of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. There are proposals to extend the definition of controlled waste, and to bring some agricultural wastes under control for the first time in England and Wales.


Agricultural waste in Scotland now falls within the definition of controlled waste following the introduction of the Waste (Scotland) Regulations 2005. Although this legislation contains exemptions for some agricultural waste management activities, it has brought the majority of agricultural waste generated by the HFE sector in Scotland within the legislative framework for waste management and duty of care and means that waste disposal or recovery on farms will require a waste management licence no licence as far as I know or exemption and that agricultural waste will have to be disposed of, or recycled in ways that are not harmful to human health or to the environment.

The Waste (Scotland) Regulations 2005 do not apply to waste that is outside the scope of the Waste Framework Directive and is covered by other legislation e.g. animal carcasses and faecal matter.

In Scotland, any institution that operates an agricultural waste landfill should note that these are subject to the Landfill Directive requirements as a result of the Landfill (Scotland) Regulations 2003.

Action - Waste (Scotland) Regulations 2005 - Agricultural Waste

In Scotland the legislation requires that farmers must:


The disposal of sheep dip and dilute pesticide washings to land can no longer be carried out without an authorisation from the Environment Agency/SEPA under the Groundwater Regulations 1998, which came into force on 1st April 1999.