Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland

Burning and burying farm waste

Burning pallets, farm wasteBurning and burying farm waste

What you must do

Burying farm waste

You must not bury waste in a farm dump or tip on your farm unless you hold a pollution prevention and control (PPC) permit.

Contact your environmental regulator

However, turning a farm dump into a compliant landfill site is an impractical and expensive solution for most farmers.


Pollution prevention and control permits

Burning farm waste

You must not burn non-natural farm waste, such as plastic and tyres, in the open.

You can burn natural farm waste like crop residues (from linseed, cereals, oil seed rape, peas and beans), hedge trimmings and other untreated wood in the open. However, you must register an exemption with your environmental regulator.

Exemptions for agricultural waste recovery

In Northern Ireland you are no longer allowed to use a drum incinerator to burn empty pesticide containers.

In Scotland, contact your local SEPA office before you consider burning containers in a drum incinerator. You can use a drum incinerator in certain circumstances, but you must first register an exemption with SEPA.

If you operate any incinerator that is more advanced than a drum incinerator, contact your local council in Northern Ireland, or SEPA in Scotland. You may require a permit to operate or you may need to register an exemption. This depends on:

  • the types of waste you are burning
  • the purpose of incineration
  • the nature of the incinerator.

Contact your local council

Contact SEPA

Waste incineration

Waste management licensing: licences and exemptions

Further information

In Northern Ireland, see section 11 of the DARD code of good agricultural practice for water, air and soil.

DAERA: Code of good agricultural practice for the prevention of pollution of water, air and soil

In Scotland, see section 12 of the Prevention of Environmental Pollution from Agricultural Activity (PEPFAA) Code.

Scottish Government: Prevention of Environmental Pollution from Agricultural Activity (PEPFAA Code) 2005 (Scotland) (Adobe PDF - 1.34MB)

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