Guidance

Waste exemption: U10 spreading waste to benefit agricultural land

This exemption allows you to spread specific waste on agricultural land to replace manufactured fertilisers or virgin materials such as agricultural lime used to improve or maintain soil.

Type of activity you can carry out

You can spread the waste on agricultural land to improve or maintain the physical, chemical and biological properties of the soil to grow crops (for example, you can add chalk to the soil as a liming agent).

Types of activity you can’t carry out

You can’t:

  • spread waste that does not benefit the land
  • spread waste on non-agricultural land - see related exemptions
  • spread waste that is not listed even if they would provide benefits
  • dispose of waste under this exemption, for example applying waste that will not benefit the land, or applying more than is needed to provide benefit

Types and quantities of waste you can use

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

Waste code Type of waste Quantity (tonnes per hectare per year) Storage (tonnes) Conditions
010102, 010408, 170504 Chalk only 50 200 A
020101 Sludge from cleaning fruit and vegetables on farm only 50 200 A
020199, 020399 Untreated water from cleaning fruit and vegetables on farm only 100 200 A, F
020305 Effluent from treating water used to clean fruit and vegetables on farm only 100 200 A, F
020401, 020399 Soil from cleaning fruit and vegetables only 50 200 A
100101 Ash from wood chip boilers burning plant tissue and untreated wood only. Registered and operating under a U4 exemption 1 10 A
170506 Dredging spoil, not containing any dangerous substances, from creating or maintaining habitats, ditches or ponds in parks, gardens, fields and forests only 150 1,250 C
020199 Used compost from growing mushrooms only 50 500 A
190599 Compost produced only from the limited list of waste and in the proportion stated in the T23 exemption or worm compost from T26 exemption only 50 500 A
190604 Digestate produced only from the limited range of waste and conditions allowed under T24 and T25 exemptions only 50 200 A
190812 Biobed or biofilter material produced from treatment registered and operated under T32 exemption only 50 200 A, D
020199 Milk from agricultural premises only 50 cubic metres of diluted milk per hectare in any 24 hour period 200 A, B, E

Key to conditions

Condition additional requirement
A The place where waste that is stored or land which is to be spread must be at least 10 metres from a watercourse and 50 metres from a spring, well or borehole
B Before spreading, the waste must be diluted with at least an equal amount of water or slurry, and waste must only be spread on the land once in any 4-week period
C The waste must be spread next to the place it was dredged from
D The waste must be stored at least 12 months before it is spread
E The waste must not be stored longer than 24 hours before it is spread
F The waste must be spread at the place where it is produced

Key conditions

Waste must be stored in a secure location before it is spread.

You must not spread waste if the land is:

  • waterlogged, frozen or covered with snow
  • has been frozen for 12 hours or more in the 24 hours before you want to start spreading

Biobed or biofilter material must be stored for 12 months before it is spread.

Waste milk:

  • must not be stored for more than 24 hours before it is spread
  • must be diluted with an equal or greater amount of water or slurry before it is spread
  • can only be spread on the same area once in any 4 week period

Waste other than milk or biobed material must not be stored for longer than 12 months before being spread.

Dredging spoil from maintaining ditches can only be spread on land next to the ditch from which it is dredged.

Sludges, wash waters or effluents from washing fruit or vegetables on a farm can only be spread on land at the same farm.

Other things you need to know

You must keep records of the amount, nature and origin of all waste spread on your land for 2 years. You must make these records available to the Environment Agency if they ask to see them. If you are already required to keep records under the Nitrate Pollution Prevention Regulations 2008 or the Nitrate Pollution Prevention (Wales) Regulations 2008 (the NVZ Rules), you do not need to keep other records.

U12: using mulch

U13: spreading plant matter to provide benefits

T23: aerobic composting and associated prior treatment

T24: anaerobic digestion at premises used for agriculture and burning resulting biogas

T25: anaerobic digestion at premises not used for agriculture and burning resulting biogas

T26: treatment of kitchen waste in a wormery

Register a U10 exemption

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

Published 28 April 2014