Compost & Digestate Quality Protocols – What’s Happening?

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Update on the QP’s and Industry’s Next Steps

February 26, 2021

In December 2020, the EA published their initial report on the current Anaerobic Digestate and Compost Quality Protocols. They have concluded that both QP’s need revising in a number of key areas. The task now falls onto the industry to make changes, in order to maintain these End of Waste frameworks for these materials. Without a Quality Protocol (soon to be called Resource Frameworks), even PAS100 and PAS110 certified materials will be ‘wastes’. 

 

It’s time to get involved!

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/waste-quality-protocols-review/waste-quality-protocols-review

 

What did they say about the Digestate QP?

  • Current plastics limits allow too much plastic to escape to the environment
  • The risk assessment is out of date – recent soil science is not taken into account
  • The comparator is not suitable for all anaerobic digestate products described
  • We need to review our position on the waste status of manure-based digestates
  • Requirements of the Fertilisers Regulations 
  • Batches of products are going out of specification

 

What did they say about the Compost QP?

  • Current plastics limits allow too much plastic to escape to the environment
  • Risk assessment is out of date – recent soil science is not taken into account
  • Requirements of the Fertilisers Regulations
  • Need to reduce other physical contaminants such as sharps and stones

 

What’s the next steps?

  • Industry need to commit to fund technical revisions and organise a coordinated response
  • A Task & Finish group for each QP needs to be set-up, to oversee the revision process
  • Both of these things need to be in place by 31st May 2021

 

The trade associations will be coordinating the review on behalf of producers and other key stakeholders. We will publish any new details here as they happen…

 

 

 

What happens now?

  • It is also not clear whether amendments will be submitted from the industry as a collective, or if individual operators are expected to respond. It is assumed it is the former, but how this is proportionately and fairly split across operators in terms of funding and effort have not yet been defined.

 

 

If you produce compost, or digestate, and you want to learn more, contact us at 4R Group (info@4r-group.co.uk).

 

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