Soil Surveys, Environmental Assessment & Land Management

Waste Recycling to Land

Many industrial processes generate organic (biodegradable) waste materials which are subject to landfill controls under the European Landfill Directive. Since the Directive was introduced in 1999, waste producers have worked extensively to develop new markets and outlets for these materials, which include application to productive agriculture and forestry land, and in land restoration for ecology.


The system of waste application to land is regulated by the Environment Agency in England and Wales, SEPA in Scotland and by the DAERA in Northern Ireland. The regulatory system employs permits, exemptions and deployment applications to enable waste processors and operators to safely and beneficially apply certain waste materials (which are deemed low risk) to land.

The beneficial value of waste materials varies considerably according to the nature of the waste and the requirements of the land to be treated. Beneficial effects include the supply of nutrients, improvement of soil structure and moisture retention (soil conditioning), pH adjustment, and provision of organic matter to manufactured soils.

Land Research Associates has extensive experience in the use of waste products as soil conditioners for reclaiming land and as fertilisers for agriculture and forestry. Projects have been undertaken with sewage sludges (biosolids), composts, pond and stream dredgings, water treatment residues, food processing and drinks industry wastes, and textile processing wastes. Product evaluation, growing trials and risk assessments have been undertaken to ensure safe use on reclamation sites or agricultural land.

For further information on how we can help facilitate waste recycling to land contact us on +44 (0)1509 670570 or email