Farm businesses that handle small quantities of waste or “low-risk” wastes, including agricultural materials, tyres or sludges, can apply for free waste exemption – provided they meet certain criteria.
By meeting limits and conditions, as set out on the Gov.uk website, farmers can avoid the need to pay an annual fee for an environmental permit. An exemption lasts for three years.
The regulator is encouraging farm businesses to go online to register exemptions by using a “quicker, easier and more efficient” format, which has replaced the paper and e-form options.
The Environment Agency is expecting up to half a million farm businesses to apply for registrations this summer. This is because many farmers registered for a three-year exemption after new rules came into effect in 2013.
John Hewitt, a farmer of 40 years who runs a 200ha farm in Lincolnshire, has registered online using the new system.
He said: “It’s an easy service to use, just spend a few minutes reading the instructions and follow [the online service] through.”
Anyone registering for an exemption who needs help with the online service or is unable to access the internet, should contact the Environment Agency on 03708 506 506 for advice.
You can access the new system on the Gov.uk website.