U11 waste exemption: spreading waste on non-agricultural land

The U11 exemption allows you to spread waste on non-agricultural land to replace manufactured fertilisers or virgin materials (such as lime) to improve or maintain soil.

Types of activity you can carry out

These could include:

Types of activity you cannot carry out

You cannot spread waste:

  • to benefit agricultural land under this exemption - see U10 in related exemptions.
  • not listed in the table below
  • on land unless it provides a 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 Type of waste Quantity (tonnes per hectare per year) Storage (tonnes) Conditions
010102, 010408, 170504 Chalk only 50 200 A
020202 Shellfish shells from which the soft tissue or flesh has been removed only 50 200 A
020399, 020401 Soil from cleaning fruit and vegetables only 50 200 A
100101 Ash from wood chip boilers registered and operating under U4 exemption only 1 10 A
170506 Dredging spoil not containing dangerous substances from creating or maintaining habitats, ditches or ponds in parks, gardens, fields and forests 150 1,250 B
020199 Used compost from growing mushrooms only 50 500 A
190599 Compost produced only from the limited list of waste and in the proportions stated in the T23 exemption or worm compost from the T26 exemption 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 a treatment registered and operated under T32 exemption only 50 200 A, C
200108 Coffee grounds only 50 200 A

Key to conditions

Condition Additional requirement
A The place where waste is stored or land on which waste is to be spread must be at least 10 metres from a watercourse and 50 metres from a spring, well or borehole
B The waste must be spread next to the place it was dredged from
C The waste is stored at least 12 months before spreading

Key conditions

Waste must be spread to benefit the land.

You should not use any more waste than you need to or this will be considered as waste disposal and will not be exempt.

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

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. Other types of waste must be stored for less than 12 months before they are spread.

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

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 Nitrate Vulnerable Zones Rules), you do not need to keep other records.

U10: spreading of waste on agricultural land to confer benefit

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: treating kitchen waste in a wormery

Register a U11 exemption

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

If you want to spread a wider range of waste or spread more waste than this exemption allows, you will need to apply for an environmental permit.

Published 28 April 2014