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Waste Rules Could Save Farmers £4 Million

by 5m Editor
24 March 2010, at 10:52a.m.

UK - New waste regulations introduced following NFU lobbying could save farmers more the £4 million in costs.

The changes, agreed in November and due to come into effect on 6 April 2010, mean the Environment Agency has agreed not to charge farmers for registering everyday waste exemptions.

Originally the government had proposed replacing the exemptions with a system where farmers were charged every three years. But the NFU argued such proposals would impose yet more cost burdens on the industry, discourage recycling and ultimately result in farmers sending more waste to landfill.

NFU lobbying has also resulted in:

  • The retention of the exemption for land spreading of poultry and pig carcass ash. It was proposed that farmers could only spread waste ash under a complicated environmental permit which could have cost in the region of £1,000.

  • A revised exemption for the use of waste in construction that will allow farmers to import tarmac road planings for use in farm tracks and should hopefully allow coastal farmers to repair earthen sea walls.

Disappointingly, the regulations will no longer allow plastic wires entangled on the haulm of glasshouse plants, such as tomatoes, to be burnt. This could represent a serious financial issue for growers, although concerns have been mitigated somewhat by an extension of the current regulations until 2013, agreed following heavy NFU pressure.

Environmental policy adviser Aarun Naik said, “We welcome the government’s decision not to charge farmers for registering everyday waste exemptions. We lobbied hard against these charges as their introduction could have resulted in over four million pounds being taken out of the farming industry and going into the pockets of the Environment Agency each year.

“Recycling and responsible management of waste must be not be discouraged by the introduction of more costs into the industry, especially in the current economic climate,” Mr Naruk said.