Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland
In Northern Ireland, to make compost under an exemption you must:
Under a paragraph 12 exemption, you may make compost, as long as you:
Under a paragraph 7 exemption, you may apply compost on a farm.
In Northern ireland and in Scotland, if you compost animal by-products or catering waste you must meet the requirements of the Animal By–products Regulations. You must have an authorisation from:
Scotland: Animal and Plant Health Agency: Divisional offices (scroll down to the bottom of the page)
If your composting activities create noise, dust or odour at levels that could cause a nuisance or complaints from the surrounding community, SEPA (if your activity is under a registered exemption with SEPA) or your local environmental health department can:
You must ensure that waste that you handle and store on your site does not pollute rain water runoff.
You must be a registered waste carrier or exempt from registration if you:
In Northern Ireland, if you normally and regularly carry your own business waste you must register with the NIEA as a lower tier waste carrier. If you transport your own construction or demolition waste you must register with NIEA as an upper tier waste carrier.
In Scotland if you normally and regularly transport waste produced by your own business, you must register with SEPA as a professional collector or transporter of waste. This is a new requirement for businesses. If you transport your own construction or demolition waste you must usually register as a waste carrier. You can register on line for this.
You must have a waste management licence or have registered an exemption with your environmental regulator if you use compost made from waste materials.
In Scotland, SEPA has issued a position statement stating that compost is likely to be considered no longer waste (i.e. it is fully recovered) if it:
In Northern Ireland, the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) has issued a position statement on the regulation of composting operations following the publication of the Quality Protocol for the use of quality compost from source-segregated biodegradable waste. It clarifies when such material will be regarded as having ceased to be waste and can be used without the need for waste management controls. In summary, provided the requirements of the Quality Protocol (including the PAS100 standard) is met in full, the quality compost will no longer be regarded as waste and the waste management controls will not apply to its onward transfer and use.
In Northern Ireland a Quality Protocol (QP) checker provides an easy, quick and cost effective way for both new and existing producers to check that they meet the QP quality requirements and any other underlying specifications. The tool creates a user report that documents performance and pinpoints any areas where improvements are needed. It can also be used as an internal audit check and will support a more robust and compliance regime. The tool covers compost and aggregates only, at present.
SEPA has produced guidance that explains when waste derived composts are fully recovered, and do not require waste regulatory control. This guidance replaces earlier guidance from 2004
SEPA Special Waste Consignment Notes – updated position, The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) is now accepting special waste consignment notes (SWCNs) by email only.
DAERA Waste Policy Tracker, The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs has published a Waste policy tracker to stay informed of waste policy developments.
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