The recovery and disposal of waste requires a permit under EU legislation with the principal objective of preventing harm to human health and the environment. This legislation also allows member states to
provide for exemptions from the need for a permit, providing general rules are laid down for each type of exempt activity, and the operation is registered with the relevant registration authority. The UK has met the EU requirements through the Environmental
Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010 these require Community Composters to either register Environment Agency for an Exemption or for a Permit.
The majority of Community Composting groups will be eligible for
a T23 exemption (Aerobic composting and associated prior treatment). On some community, on sites such as our Compost Demonstration site additional exemptions are required to carry out related activities such as treating food
waste in a wormery.
All exempt projects need to register their exemption with the Environmental Agency. This is free and may be completed online. The on-line
application is quick and simple if less than 10-ton waste is generated annually and used on site and no farm animal access or animal by products are composted e.g. just allotment waste. Larger processes will require more thought but the Registration
processes is relatively simple.
Projects, which do not meet the requirements of an Exemption, will need to obtain either a Standard Rules Permit or a Bespoke Permit. There
are numerous charges associated with these permits.
Waste exemption: T23 aerobic composting and associated prior treatment
This Exemption is designed to allow the composting
of small volumes of vegetation, cardboard and food waste to produce compost that can be spread to benefit the land by adding nutrients or improving the structure of the soil.
This exemption will apply to:
- allotment associations, composting their old plants and trimmings,
- schools composting garden and kitchen waste where the compost will be used in the school grounds and
- community-composting groups where locally
produced vegetable peelings and garden waste are brought to a central point for composting before it is returned to scheme members to be used in their gardens.
can be prepared for composting (Associated prior treatment by screening, chipping, shredding, cutting, pulverising or sorting waste for aerobic composting.
Types of waste you can
Examples of the types and quantities of waste that can be treated under a T23 exemption are shown below. The list is not exhaustive please check the Regulations. These show the maximum quantities you can use and conditions
for using the specific types of waste.
Plant tissue waste, Biodegradable waste plant matter only, Fully biodegradable animal bedding:
- Up to 80 tonnes of waste at any one time if composted and used the in the same place it was produced.
- Or up to 60 tonnes of waste at any one time if the waste is from other places to the place where it will be composted and/or the compost
is to be used somewhere other than where it was composted
Horse manure and farmyard manure only:
The above waste can be stored for up to a month before composting.
waste, Biodegradable waste from kitchens
- where up to 10 tonnes in total of this waste can be treated at any time with storage before treatment limited to up to seven days before treatment
After treatment, the compost can be stored for up to 12 months, but this is included in the total quantity limits shown above that can be stored or treated