Ragwort: Guidance on the disposal options for common ragwort (PB11050)

Legal framework

Regulations for agricultural waste3 mean that unwanted agricultural waste (i.e. this includes ragwort from all farmland, or from land used for keeping horses and ponies) now comes within the definition of industrial waste. This means that it must comply with Waste Management Regulations4.

Waste Management Regulations can require waste disposal sites to apply for a Waste Management Licence (WML). With on-site disposal of ragwort plant matter, it is likely that an exemption to having a WML can be gained. Advice should be sought from the Environment Agency on the requirement for Licensing and registering an exemption from Licensing. On site disposal facilities for large quantities of plant matter may require planning permission, check with your Local Authority.

With incineration the plant may fall within the terms of the Pollution Prevention and Control (PPC) Regulations5 and require a permit to operate. You should contact the regulators for advice and permitting. This will be the Environment Agency for a plant with a capacity of greater than 1 tonne per hour and the local authority if it is less than 1 tonne per hour. A plant that has a PPC permit may not require a WML.

Note: Waste Management Regulations do not apply to waste from domestic properties.


3 Agricultural Waste Regulations 2005
4 Waste Management Licensing Regulations 1994
5 Pollution Prevention & Control (England and Wales) Regulations 2000 (as amended)

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