PESTICIDE USERS look set to be allowed to carry on burning empty containers on-farm until June 2006, according to the NFU.

But thereafter alternatives to the CPA’s drum incinerator, until now advocated as the most practical solution to disposing of this particular farm waste, will have to be in place, acknowledges environment management adviser Diane Mitchell.

Her comments come as the government opens its consultation on new proposals to extend waste management controls to farms.

The Environment Agency recently assessed the use of the incinerator, says Dr Mitchell. “Its report outlines the risks. But it appreciates that there are no real alternatives to burning at the moment.”

That means pesticide users are likely to get a year’s grace in which to find alternative disposal routes for clean, empty containers, she explains.

“The EA has stated that it doesn’t intend to take any action over burning of chemical containers for a year from the period of effect [of the new regulations], which is expected to be June 2005.

“We’d really like to see co-ordination of a nationwide collection system for recycling or recovery of all waste plastics, not just pesticide containers.”

DEFRA’s 1m Business Resource Efficiency and Waste government funding, also welcomed this week by the AIC, should help, she believes.