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Farmers to get ready for new hazardous agricultural waste rules

The Environment Agency today (Tuesday) reminded all farmers and growers that produce hazardous waste such as fuel oil
and pesticides to make sure they are ready for the new rules that come into play from 15 May 2007.

Mark Okunienski, Waste Policy Manager at the Environment Agency, said: “Hazardous wastes have the potential to harm human health and our environment. From 15 May these new rules place stricter controls on the disposal, recovery and movement of this type of waste in the agriculture sector in England and Wales.” Waste is classed as hazardous if it contains dangerous substances that need to be handled and disposed of carefully in order to protect our health and environment. The Environment Agency has produced guidance on the new rules and how to comply with them, available to download from its website. It includes examples on what these wastes are – e.g. asbestos and waste oil. Under the new rules farmers will need to:

· know what hazardous waste they are producing

· only give it to someone that is authorised to handle it and make sure it is disposed of at a properly authorised site, and

· use a consignment note every time they or someone else removes hazardous waste from their farm. In addition, the new controls also mean if farmers produce more than 500kg of hazardous waste a year (excluding scrap vehicles) they must register with the Environment Agency.

Mark Okunienski adds: “A consignment note helps you to describe your hazardous waste so other people know what it is and helps to make sure it gets to a site that can handle it. It also helps the Environment Agency track the movement of this type of waste as it has the potential to seriously damage our environment.

“We will be producing a further guidance note in early May which will tell you where you can get a consignment note, how much it costs, how to fill it out, what happens to it and how long you need to keep a copy. Farmers can find out if the person picking up their hazardous waste is authorised to do so online at www.environment-agency.gov.uk/publicregister.”
For those who need to register as a producer, this lasts for a year and farmers can apply for their registrations:

· on-line at www.environment-agency.gov.uk/registration

· over the phone – 08708 502858

· or by post – download a form from our website (as
above)

Each registration will cost farmers between £18-£28 for each of their sites that produce hazardous waste, depending on the method chosen to register. Registering on-line is the simplest and cheapest method at £18 per site as opposed to £23 by telephone or £28 by post. All farmers and producers will still have to use a consignment note when removing any hazardous waste from their farm, regardless of whether they need to be registered or not. If you use a contractor to remove your waste, they should be able to advise you on these rules and help you
prepare consignment notes.

Mark Okunienski continues: “Hazardous waste controls have applied to other industries since July 2005. We anticipate that most farmers will produce hazardous waste at some point and so will need to use a consignment note when sending it
off farm.

“However, we believe only 6% or so will produce over 500kg in a year, and so only these farmers will need to register as producers. We want to help farmers get ready for these changes and there is information and guidance available online and over the phone from us.”

To find out more about agriculture waste visit
www.environment-agency.gov.uk/agriculturalwaste or call the
Environment Agency on 0845 603 3113.

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