Agricultural chemicals and waste management

Waste generated on the farm

Agricultural waste includes both natural (organic and inorganic) by-products of agricultural activity and non-natural (i.e. of industrial origin). Organic agricultural wastes (solid, liquid or semi-solid) include: natural plant residues (e.g. cereal straw) and animal residues (animal urine and faeces, poultry manure, litter, etc.).

The main non-natural agricultural residues include: fertiliser packaging, seed packaging, plant protection products and other agricultural chemicals, veterinary products and materials (e.g. used syringes), used protective and working clothes, other mechanical residues (e.g. oil, tyres, batteries), old machinery or parts thereof, irrigation pipes, films, non-woven fabrics, fencing, etc.

As defined in the Waste Act of 29 March 2022. (Journal of Laws 2022 item 699)

waste shall mean any substance or object which the holder discards, intends or is required to discard.

We classify waste into groups, subgroups due to:

  • the source of their generation (e.g. from agricultural activities),
  • properties, as well as the substances contained (hazardous and non-hazardous waste).

Hazardous waste – means waste that exhibits one or more of the hazardous properties listed in the Waste Act in Annex 4 of the Act. In the waste catalogue, they are marked with “*”.

Non-hazardous waste – means waste that does not exhibit any hazardous properties and in which the content of hazardous substances does not exceed the set threshold value referred to in the Waste Act.

In the case of agricultural activities, the waste that arises may be in the following groups, among others.

Hazardous waste

Waste codeType of wasteExample
Group 02Waste from agriculture, horticulture, hydroponics, fisheries, forestry, hunting and food processing
02 01 08*Agrochemical waste containing dangerous substancesIncomplete plant protection products, fertilisers, biocides, adjuvants, rinses, residues from chemical treatment of plant protection products.
02 01 80*Fallen and emergency slaughtered animals and animal waste with hazardous properties
Group 07wastes from the production, formulation, marketing and use of products from the organic chemical industry
Subgroup 07 04Wastes from the production, formulation, handling and use of organic plant protection products (except 02 01 08 and 02 01 09), wood preservatives (except 03 02) and other biocides
07 04 80*Out-of-date plant protection products
Group 08Wastes from the manufacture, formulation, marketing and use of coatings (paints, varnishes, ceramic enamels), putty, adhesives, sealants and printing inks
08 01 11*Waste paint and varnish containing organic solvents or other dangerous substances
Group 13Waste oils and liquid fuel wastes
13 02 08*Other engine, gear and lubricating oilsWaste oils – mineral or synthetic lubricating or industrial oils which have become unfit for the use for which they were originally intended, in particular used combustion engine oils and gear oils, lubricating oils, turbine oils and hydraulic oils.
13 07 03*Other fuels (including mixtures)
Group 15Packaging wastes; absorbents, wiping cloths, filter materials and protective clothing not otherwise specified
15 01 10*Packaging containing residues of or with hazardous substances
Packaging for pesticides, packaging for biocides, packaging for oils, fuels, medicines, paints and solvents
15 01 11*Metal packaging containing hazardous porous structural reinforcement elements (e.g. asbestos), including empty pressure containersAerosols from greases, paints, agrochemicals and biocides
15 02 02*Sorbents, filter materials (including oil filters not included in other groups),
wiping cloths (e.g. rags, cloths) and protective clothing contaminated with
hazardous substances (e.g. PCB)
among others.
protective overalls, gloves, masks used during chemical treatments, worn rubber boots
sorbent used to clean up liquid chemical spills
Group 16Wastes not included in other groups
16 01 04*Used or unserviceable vehicles.Vehicles that have not been drained of operating fluids, i.e. fuel, oil
16 01 07*Oil filters
16 02 11*Discarded equipment containing CFCs, HCFCs, HFCsRefrigerators, freezers
16 02 13*Discarded equipment containing hazardous components other than those mentioned in 16 02 09 to 16 02 12Including fluorescent lamps, UV lamps, monitors
16 06 01*Lead batteries and accumulators
Group 17Wastes from construction, repair and dismantling of buildings and road infrastructure (including soil and soil from contaminated sites)
17 06 01*Insulation materials containing asbestosRoof coverings containing asbestos

Non-hazardous waste

Waste codeType of wasteExample
Group 02Waste from agriculture, horticulture, hydroponics, fisheries, forestry, hunting and food processing
02 01 01Washing and cleaning deposits
02 01 02Waste animal tissue
02 01 03Waste vegetable matter
02 01 06Animal faeces
02 01 09Agrochemical wastes other than those mentioned in 02 01 08
02 01 10Metal wasteFences, machine parts
02 01 81Fallen animals and animal waste constituting specified risk and high risk material other than those mentioned in 02 01 80
02 01 82Fallen and emergency slaughtered animals
Group 07Wastes from the production, preparation, handling and use of products from the organic chemical industry
07 04 81Expired plant protection products other than those mentioned in 07 04 80
Group 15Packaging waste; absorbents, wiping cloths, filter materials and protective clothing not otherwise specified
15 01 01Paper and cardboard packagingBulk cartons
15 01 02Plastic packagingHaylage film, big bags, liquid fertiliser canisters
15 01 03Wood packagingPallets
15 01 04Metal packagingBarrels, canisters
15 01 05Multi-material packaging
15 01 07Glass packaging
15 02 03Sorbents, filter materials, wiping cloths (e.g. rags, cloths) and protective clothing other than those mentioned in 15 02 02Protective clothing not contaminated with hazardous substances
Subgroup 16 01Used or unserviceable vehicles (including machinery
off-highway), waste from dismantling, servicing and maintenance of vehicles
(excluding groups 13 and 14 and subgroups 16 06 and 16 08)
16 01 03Used tyres
16 01 06Used or unserviceable vehicles not containing liquids and other
hazardous elements
16 02 14Discarded equipment other than those mentioned in 16 02 09 to 16 02 13Printers, readers, computers
Group 17Waste from construction, renovation and dismantling of buildings and
road infrastructure (including soil and earth from contaminated sites)
17 01 01Concrete wastes and concrete rubble from demolition and renovation
18 02Waste from veterinary examination, diagnosis, treatment and prevention
18 02 01Surgical and treatment instruments and their residues (excluding 18 02 02)
18 02 02*Other wastes that contain viable pathogenic micro-organisms or their toxins or other forms capable of transmitting genetic material which are known or reliably believed to cause disease in humans or animals

The above list is not exhaustive of all the types of waste that can be generated on a farm.

The farm is required to obtain a waste generation decision if it generates waste (according to the Act):

  1. with a mass greater than 1 Mg (1 tonne) per year – in the case of hazardous waste, or
  2. of more than 5,000 Mg (5,000 tonnes) per year – for non-hazardous waste.

When dealing with waste, it is important to remember that:

  • waste can be handed over to a company that holds a waste collection permit, a waste processing permit or an entry in the register of the Marshal of the Voivodship (concerning e.g. batteries and accumulators, waste oils, etc.). With the transfer of waste to the waste collector, we transfer the responsibility for waste management to him,
  • the transfer of waste to the transporter does not relieve the waste producer of its responsibility for the subsequent management of the waste by the subsequent holder. The waste transporter shall issue a Waste Transfer Note in accordance with the specimen in the Waste Act.

Handing over waste to an entity not authorised to collect, process waste, results in criminal liability, according to the Waste Act: “Whoever, being the holder of waste, orders, contrary to the provision of Article 27(2), the management of waste to entities which have not obtained the required decisions or the required entry in the register, shall be liable to a custodial sentence or a fine.”

Additional details on waste in the Regulation of the Minister of the Environment of 9 December 2014 on the waste catalogue (Journal of Laws 2014, item 1923)