Guide

How to use recycled materials and products

Recycled organics as a resource

Organic waste - eg 'green' and food waste - can be turned into products such as compost and biofertiliser by processes including composting and anaerobic digestion.

How to use recycled organic material in your business

You can use recycled organic material that has been composted in various applications, including:

  • mulch
  • soil conditioner
  • topsoil constituent
  • turf dressing

Anaerobic digestion produces biogas, a source of renewable energy. You can use biogas:

  • to generate electricity
  • to generate heat to power on-site equipment
  • as excess electricity exported to the national grid
  • as an injection to the gas grid
  • as a vehicle fuel

Another by-product of anaerobic digestion is biofertiliser. This is rich in the nutrients required for healthy plant growth and fertile soil.

Advantages of using recycled organic materials

Using recycled organic materials can benefit your business in a number of ways, including:

  • reducing your overall material costs
  • improving your reputation as a user of recycled materials
  • ensuring that you comply with existing and future legal requirements

The use of compost can also:

  • help farmers meet soil management standards required for the Single Payment Scheme - see our guide on the Single Payment Scheme
  • provide valuable nutrients to soil by improving yield
  • increase soil organic matter and water holding capacity

Standards and quality protocols for recycling organic material

Publicly Available Specification (PAS) 100 on producing quality compost describes the recommended composting process including:

  • how compost is made
  • the materials which can be used
  • quality controls
  • how compost should be labelled

PAS 110 performs the same function for fertilisers and other products produced by anaerobic digestion.

The quality protocol for compost sets out the standards for using biodegradable wastes to produce quality compost, and when it is no longer classed as waste.

The use of compost can also:

  • help farmers meet soil management standards required for the Single Payment Scheme - see our guide on the Single Payment Scheme (SPS)
  • provide valuable nutrients to soil by improving yield
  • increase soil organic matter and water holding capacity