burning hedge cuttings© FLPA/REX/Shutterstock

The clock is ticking for thousands of farmers to complete their application to re-register for agricultural waste exemptions.

Most farmers registered for a three-year exemption after new rules came into effect in 2013.

This means the Environment Agency is expecting 70,000 farmers to submit up to half a million agricultural waste exemptions before the end of October.

To date, about 25,000 farmers have completed the process which the Environment Agency has indicated is in line with expectations.

See also: Free farm waste exemptions available online

Any farmer using, treating, storing or disposing of waste will need to re-register.

Typical exemptions that farmers will want to apply for include the ability to burn waste in the open (D7), spreading waste to benefit agricultural land (U10) and the use of waste in construction (U1), which covers farmers who use hardcore to maintain tracks and roads.

Farmers who are unsure what exemptions they have in place and when they expire you can check the public register at https://environment.data.gov.uk/public-register/view/index

It’s free to register for all waste exemptions except one, which allows holders to treat electrical and electronic waste (known as a T11 WEEE exemption). This costs £840.

Earlier this year, the Environment Agency rolled out a new digital service to make it easier to re-register. The address is www.wasteexemptions.service.gov.uk.

To complete an online registration applicants will need:

  • the number and description for each waste exemption you want to register, name and address of the individual, business or organisation that will be carrying out the waste operation
  • registration number and registered address details if re-registering a limited company or limited liability partnership
  • name and address of the person who will be sent the registration confirmation
  • address and postcode for all the locations where the exempt activity is being carried out, or a 12-digit National Grid reference if there is no postcode.

An Environment Agency spokesman said: “We advise everyone who has online access to try to register online in the first instance. The service has been designed with input from users including farmers to make it simple and intuitive.

“Farmers that are unfamiliar with online transactions but want to give it a go can ring 03708 506 506 and one of our advisers will help them through the process if necessary.

For those farmers that do not have any online access or can’t use it for any reason our advisers will carry out the transaction for them taking their details over the phone.”