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EA warns compost producers: sign up by deadline or face restrictions

Restrictions could be slapped on compost companies that have not signed up to The Composting Association (TCA) for PAS 100 and Quality Protocol standards by November 15 2007. The Environment Agency (EA) and the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) warned compost producers that if they do not register before the deadline their compost will need an EA waste exemption or permit to be spread on land. Without this the material will have to be disposed of at a licensed waste management site. While producers can register after the deadline an EA spokesman said that any that miss the deadline will not be able to continue working in the way that they have. The temporary regulatory period between November 15 and May 2008 will allow producers to continue to sell compost without PAS 100 and Quality Protocol certificates until May 2008. However, this period is intended to enable producers to improve their standards to meet the Protocol when it comes in in May 2008. The EA spokesman added: This is part of the process of phasing in the Protocol for compost. It gives producers six months to get up to scratch in quality terms. The Protocol which sets out the criteria for the production of quality compost from different types of biowaste like food and garden plant waste - is being revised following feedback from TCA and the Environmental Services Association (ESA). The revision aims to establish a procedure for adding new biowastes to the acceptable inputs list. EA head of external programmes Martin Brocklehurst said: "These additional wastes must be agreed by the EA to ensure the door isnt being opened to sham operators. The next step in the Protocol process is to notify the EU under the Technical Standards Directive. This is part of the process to open up potential export markets for compost.

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