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Compost: Licensing

Volume 487: debated on Monday 26 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether compost heaps at (a) allotments, (b) schools, (c) churches and (d) grounds of voluntary organisations will be exempt from proposals within the Environmental Permitting Regulations to require a £50 composting permit on anything which is outside a private individual's garden; and if he will make a statement. (250536)

[holding answer 22 January 2009]: Between July and October 2008, DEFRA, in conjunction with the Welsh Assembly Government and the Environment Agency, carried out a consultation to review the waste exemptions from environmental permitting. This included holding several workshops.

The consultation proposals seek to retain an exemption from permitting for small scale community composting, which would include allotments, schools, churches and the grounds of voluntary organisations where they meet the other requirements of the exemption. The consultation also proposed that exempt waste operations would be required to re-register every three years and pay a registration charge.

Officials are currently analysing the 286 responses to the consultation. No decisions have been made as to whether to introduce charging for some or all exempt waste operations. A summary of the consultation responses received and the Government's response to them will be published as soon as possible.