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Compost producers must register before deadline

The Environment Agency and WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme) are today reminding compost producers in England and Wales to ensure that their business has been registered with The Composting Association (TCA) for PAS 100 and Quality Protocol certification by 15 November.

PAS 100 is the British Standards Institution's Publicly Available Specification for composted material which sets out the minimum requirements for the process of composting, the selection of materials from which compost is made and even how it is labelled. This is the next key step in the phased introduction of the Quality Protocol for Compost, which sets out criteria for the production of quality compost from source-segregated biodegradable waste.

Producers who register after this date will not benefit from the interim regulatory position until it is revised in May 2008. This means that producers who do not meet the deadline and users of their compost will face being restricted in their operations. The compost they handle will only be able to be spread to land with an Environment Agency waste exemption or permit, or the material will have to be disposed of at a licensed waste management site.

Martin Brocklehurst, Head of External Programmes for the Environment Agency, said: “The Quality Protocol allows operators to manufacture quality compost free of the 'waste' tag. This makes compost a more marketable product and allows it to be spread on land without the need for an Environment Agency waste exemption.”

WRAP's Dr Richard Swannell, Joint Project Executive for the Waste Protocols Project, continued: “The development of the Quality Protocol means that key markets such as landscaping, agriculture and horticulture can be confident that the compost they are buying will be of a high environmental standard, making it easier for businesses to market their compost as a desirable quality product.”

On another matter – the Quality Protocol which sets out the criteria for the production of quality compost from different types of biowaste like food and garden plant waste – is being revised following feedback from TCA and the Environmental Services Association (ESA). The revision will put in place a procedure for adding new biowastes to the acceptable inputs list.

“These additional wastes must be agreed by the Environment Agency to ensure the door isn't being opened to sham operators” stated Martin Brocklehurst.

The next step in the Quality Protocol process is to notify the EU under the Technical Standards Directive. This is part of the process of opening up potential export markets for compost.

Dr Jane Gilbert, Composting Association Chief Executive added: “Compost producers have been quick to recognise the Protocol's significance in the UK markets and are busy implementing its requirements. This next step provides welcome opportunity for producers to develop products for international trade.”

The Waste Protocols Project is a joint Environment Agency and WRAP initiative in collaboration with industry, funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), Business Resource Efficiency and Waste (BREW) Programme.

Media enquiries Environment Agency: 020 7863 8710 (five lines), or outside normal office hours, please contact the National Duty Press Officer on 07798 882 09

WRAP Press Office: Viki Coppin or Nicola O'Driscoll 01295 819695 / 819677

About the Waste Protocols Project

The Waste Protocols Project was set up in May 2006 to provide more certainty over the point at which 'waste' is fully recovered, to help prevent materials being landfilled unnecessarily and to increase the use of waste as a resource.

The Waste Protocols Project has just launched the Quality Protocol for the production and use of waste vegetable oil derived biodiesel consultation and is set to launch 12-week consultations for four more Quality Protocols over the next two months. They are:

· Tyre-derived rubber materials,

· Non-packaging plastics,

· Flat glass,

· Pulverised fuel ash (PFA).

1.'WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme) works in partnership to encourage and enable businesses and consumers to be more efficient in their use of materials and recycle more things more often. This helps to minimise landfill, reduce carbon emissions and improve our environment.'

2. A not-for-profit company, WRAP is backed by substantial Government funding from Defra and the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. (www.wrap.org.uk).

3. CMI Certification in the UK provides comprehensive consulting, training, auditing, certification and technical services to the agriculture, food processing, distribution, retail, catering and leisure sectors. The compost certification service it provides on behalf of the Composting Association commenced in June 2007. Producers should address enquiries to Mike Dale in their certification department on +44 (0)1993 885610 or email compostenquiries@cmi-plc.co.uk

4. Organic Farmers & Growers is a leading UK certification body with a reputation for practical, efficient and friendly service. The compost certification service OF&G provides on behalf of The Composting Association commenced in June 2007. In addition to composting, OF&G is approved by Defra to inspect and licence organic food processing, farming, body care products and other enterprises. Producers should address enquiries to Katie Owens on 01743 457806
email katie.owens@organicfarmers.org.uk

5. The Composting Association is the UK's leading membership organisation for the composting and biological waste treatment industries. It is committed to the sustainable management of biodegradable resources. It promotes the benefits of composting and other biological treatment techniques and the use of biologically treated materials for the enhancement of the environment, business and society. Any enquiries from producers about upgrading their PAS 100 application to one for PAS 100 and Quality Protocol certification should contact Kiara Zennaro on 08701 603277 or email kiara@compost.org.uk

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