USED SEED packaging has been classified as non-hazardous waste and will not require specialist disposal, it has been announced.
The Environment Agency decision means used bags can be treated as normal agricultural waste, saving farmers a significant amount of money, said Agricultural Industries Confederation (AIC) consultant Rob Wise.
“Estimates from specialist contractors suggest it would have been up to 20 times more expensive to dispose of seed sacks if they had been classified as hazardous.”
Used fertiliser bags have also been classified as non-hazardous.
More work is still needed to look at the implications of new regulations coming into effect this autumn which prohibit the burying and burning of farm waste, added AIC head of policy, Paul Rooke.
While there are some concerns over how waste will be collected and disposed of, farmers will have the opportunity to store some packaging for up to 12 months on-farm until a scheme is set up, he said.
“Whatever collection scheme is started, it will be more economical to take as much as possible in one go, rather than a small collection every week, for example.
“There are undoubtedly going to be impositions from the new regulations, but we need to make it as easy as possible to deal with these changes,” he concluded.
Those intending to store waste on their farm for up to 12 months will need to register their intentions with the Environment Agency.