T26 waste exemption: treatment of kitchen waste in a wormery

The T26 exemption allows small-scale treatment of waste from kitchens using a wormery to produce compost, for use as fertiliser or soil conditioner.

Type of activity you can carry out

Includes composting kitchen waste from an office canteen, along with a small amount of shredded cardboard, to provide a drier fibrous element.

Type of activity you cannot carry out

You cannot treat waste not listed under this exemption.

Types of wastes you can treat

The waste codes are those listed in the List of Wastes (LoW) Regulations. You need to make sure your waste fits within the relevant waste code and description.

Waste code Type of waste
200101 Paper and cardboard
200108 Biodegradable kitchen and canteen waste

Quantity of waste you can treat

You can treat up to 6 tonnes of waste over any 12-month period.

Key conditions

The treatment must result in a stable, sanitised vermicompost that can be applied to land.

Other things you need to know

Animal by-products Regulations – animal by-products can include catering waste from kitchens and restaurants (200108 biodegradable kitchen and canteen waste).

If you are intending to compost animal by-products you may also need approval from the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA). See APHA website. You are particularly likely to need APHA approval if you intend to supply compost to other users or use the compost at another place.

You have to exclude farmed animals (includes pet sheep, cattle, pigs or poultry) from the area where the composting takes place and where the compost will be used.

For further information on animal by-products requirements, see the APHA website.

T23 – aerobic composting and associated prior treatment.

T25 – anaerobic digestion at premises not used for agriculture and burning of resulting biogas.

U10 – spreading waste to benefit agricultural land.

U11 – spreading waste on non-agricultural land.

Register this exemption

You need to register this exemption with the Environment Agency if you meet the requirements.

If you want to treat waste not listed under this exemption or you want to treat more waste than is allowed under this exemption, you will need to apply for an environmental permit.


Catering waste – all waste food, including used cooking oil originating in restaurants, catering facilities and kitchens, including central kitchens and household kitchens.

Vermicompost – also called ‘worm compost’ is the end-product of the breakdown of organic matter by some species of earthworm. It is a nutrient-rich, natural fertiliser and soil conditioner.

Published 28 April 2014