New agricultural waste regulations will come into effect on 15 May, DEFRA has confirmed.

They mean that the same controls that have applied to all other sectors of industry will now apply for agricultural waste.

About 400,000 tonnes of agricultural waste is produced each year. It includes old pesticide containers, silage wraps, tyres, batteries and oil. Manure and slurry are not a waste when used as a fertiliser.

Junior DEFRA minister Ben Bradshaw said that farmers will need to stop using farm dumps immediately or they will face additional costs.

“Farmers must stop using their farms dumps to dispose of their waste before the regulations come into force on 15 May.

“Any farmer who continues to use a farm dump from 15 May will be required to close it down in accordance with the requirements of the regulations.”

Farmers will have 5 basic options for dealing with their waste, which can be used on their own or in combination:

* Store their waste on-farm for up to 12 months.
* Take their waste for recycling or disposal off-farm at a licensed site.
* Get an authorised waste contractor to take their waste away.
* Register license exemptions with the Environment Agency to recycle or dispose of their waste on-farm. Farmers can register at any stage during the first 12 months of the regulations.
* Apply to the Environment Agency for a waste management license or a landfill permit to recycle or dispose of their waste on-farm.  For most farmers obtaining a landfill permit for their farm dump will not be a viable option because of the engineering requirements and costs involved.