Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland

Using waste as animal bedding

Using waste as animal bedding

What you must do

Using waste as bedding

You must register an exemption from waste management licensing if you use any type of waste such as sawdust from untreated wood or shredded paper as bedding for your animals.

The exemption references are:

  • paragraph 16 exemption in Northern Ireland
  • paragraph 15 exemption in Scotland.

In Northern Ireland you do not need to register an exemption if your sawdust is made from virgin timber. Ask your supplier what it is made from.

The NIEA has published a regulatory position statement which explains when they consider wood to be waste.

NIEA: Regulatory position statement on the regulation of wood (Adobe PDF - 87KB)

Disposing of used bedding

Used animal bedding is waste. You should collect animal bedding separately to your other waste, as it may be considered offensive waste.

Your business is responsible for storing and transporting your waste materials safely and securely. You must ensure that your waste materials do not cause any land, water or air pollution.

Duty of care - your waste responsibilities

If you want to compost your animal bedding you may need to register an exemption from waste management licensing.

Waste management licensing

Further information on exemptions

If you operate under a registered exemption you must ensure that your activity does not:

  • endanger human health
  • cause pollution to water, air or soil
  • cause a risk to plants or animals
  • cause a nuisance in terms of noise or odour
  • adversely affect the countryside or places of special interest.

Northern Ireland: Waste Management Licensing Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2003, Schedule 2 list of exemptions

SEPA: Activities exempt from waste management licensing

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