Paragraph 13 Composting and Storage of Biodegradable Waste
A guide to the legislation is given below. Read through this to help you decide if this exemption covers the type of activity that you wish to undertake.
Paragraph 13 allows the composting1 and/or the storage of certain biodegradable wastes that can be applied to land for the benefit of agriculture or ecological improvement.
Paragraph 13 also allows for the chipping, shredding, cutting or pulverising of waste for the purpose of composting at the place where the composting activity is to be carried out, and the screening of waste which has been composted.
Waste Stream(s) permitted
The waste types you can use are listed in Table 6, Schedule 2 of the Waste Management Licensing Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2003 (as amended).
The total quantity of waste treated or stored, at the place where composting is to be carried out, must not exceed 200 tonnes at any one time. The 200 tonne limit includes all wastes onsite prior to treatment.
The quantity of waste stored, at a place other than the place where composting is to be carried out, must not exceed 10 tonnes.
All waste must be stored securely on an impermeable pavement2.
Waste may be stored for a period not exceeding 48 hours at a place other than the place where the composting activity is to be carried out. Such storage must be part of a scheme for the collection of waste from groups of premises and the waste must be taken directly from the place of storage to the place where the composting activity is to be carried out.
In the case of biodegradable waste containing animal by-products, including gut contents, the waste must have been treated in accordance with The Animal By-Products Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2003 which can be found at
1 “Composting” means the autothermic and thermophilic biological decomposition and stabilisation of biodegradable waste under controlled conditions that are aerobic or anaerobic and results in a stable sanitised material that can be applied to land for the benefit of agriculture or ecological improvement.
2 “Impermeable pavement” means a pavement in the area where a waste recovery or storage operation takes place which is capable of containing any spillage of waste received and is connected to a drainage system with impermeable components, which does not leak, and which will ensure that
(a) no liquid will run off the pavement otherwise than via the drainage system; and
(b) except where they may be lawfully discharged, all liquids entering the drainage system are collected in a sealed sump.
What the legislation says
The full wording of the paragraph 13 exemption can be found in Schedule 2 to the Waste Management Licensing Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2003. These Regulations have been amended a number of times. A document containing subsequent legislative updates can be found on the NIEA website at
Relevant Objectives in relation to the disposal or recovery of waste are given in paragraph 4 of Schedule 3 to the Regulations.
More detailed information on this exemption can be found in the guidance document which accompanies the application form.
If you think that you can meet the requirements of the paragraph 13 exemption and wish to proceed with the registration please contact:-
Northern Ireland Environment Agency
Land and Resource Management
First Floor Klondyke Building
Gasworks Business Park
Telephone 028 9056 9358
Fax 028 9056 9376
or alternatively click on the links below for printable guidance and application form