Agricultural waste regulation aims to ensure that waste is disposed of safely and without harm to the environment.
Agricultural waste, such as packaging, silage plastics, redundant machinery, tyres, oils and batteries can pose significant risks to the environment and human health, if not managed appropriately.
Until relatively recently, agricultural waste was excluded from the regulations that controlled the management of household, commercial and industrial waste.
However, the introduction of the Waste (Scotland) Regulations 2005 mean that farms now have a duty of care, like any other business, to dispose of waste safely with no harm to the environment.
The duty of care requires:
- all waste is stored and disposed of responsibly;
- waste is only handled or dealt with by individuals or businesses that are authorised to deal with it;
- a record is kept of all waste received or transferred through a system of signed 'Waste transfer notes’.
Agricultural waste can be avoided or minimised through product design, recycling schemes for waste silage plastics and pesticide packaging, 'take back' services for veterinary or machinery wastes and improved management practices.