Guide

Collecting and processing recycling materials

Recycling organic material

Organic waste is waste material that has been grown or was once part of an animal, such as 'green waste' and food waste. There are four different recycling processes for organic waste:

  • Open windrow composting - this is suitable for processing garden waste, but not catering or animal waste.
  • In-vessel processing - for processing food and garden waste. This process must comply with the Animal By-Products Regulations which ensure that all meat and animal-origin products meet the treatment standard required to guarantee the protection of the environment and human health.
  • Anaerobic digestion - for treating waste water.
  • Thermophilic aerobic digestion - treats waste food or other organic materials in a liquid slurry or semi-solid form.

Standards in organic recycling

The Environment Agency and WRAP have developed a quality protocol for compost. The protocol incorporates Publicly Available Specification (PAS) 100 for composted materials and PAS 110 for fertilisers and other products produced by anaerobic digestion. If your business produces compost that meets the quality protocol standard, you will not need to comply with waste controls, such as using a registered waste carrier to transport it.

You can download the quality protocol for compost (PDF, 302K).