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Recovery permits for the R10 process

Anyone who fertilises soils with digestate must have an R10 recovery treatment permit, regardless of the volume of digestate processed.

As a result of biogas plant operation, namely anaerobic digestion of plant and animal substrates, e.g., animal excreta, digestate is produced in the form of waste with the code 190605, i.e., liquids from the anaerobic digestion of animal and plant waste, and code 190606, i.e., digested waste from the anaerobic digestion of animal and plant waste. This waste can be utilised through surface treatment to benefit agriculture or improve the environment.

Waste management allows, in exceptional situations, for waste to be treated outside installations and facilities under certain conditions, precisely in the R10 recovery process.

The R10 waste recovery, as one of many types of waste processing, may be carried out if it does not pose a threat to the environment, human life or health and is carried out in accordance with the requirements set out in separate regulations. The conditions for recovery in the R10 process land treatment that benefits agriculture or improves the environment, and the types of waste permitted for such recovery, are set out in the Annex to the Regulation of the Minister of the Environment of 20 January 2015 on the R10 recovery process (Journal of Laws, item 132). In general, the regulation stipulates that the digestate must meet the requirements of the Act on Fertilisers and Fertilisation, but also the sanitary conditions stipulated in the veterinary regulations; moreover, in a situation where, in addition to natural fertilisers and plant products, other substances are used to produce biogas, the use of digestate must each time be preceded by a soil analysis for heavy metal content.

According to the provisions of the Waste Act of 14th December 2012, waste processing activities are subject to the obligation to obtain a permit, which is issued in the form of a decision, by the authority (marshal of the voivodship or district governor) competent for the place of activity.

The following documents and information are required to prepare the application:

  • Company documents (REGON certificate (National Business Registry Number); NIP certificate (tax identification number); KRS (National Court Register) – full copy),
  • Excerpts and map extracts from the land register of the land parcels affected by fertilisation,
  • Agreement – legal title, to carry out soil fertilisation processes – in case the land for fertilisation has a different owner than the applicant,
  • Certificate of clean criminal record from the National Court Register (for all persons listed as involved in the company in the National Court Register and for the collective entity),
  • Declarations of no criminal convictions for environmental offences (model declarations are set out in Article 42(3a) in the Waste Act of 14th December 2012 (i.e., Journal of Laws of 2021, item 779, as amended)),
  • Compost testing (current results from an accredited laboratory),
  • Soil tests – the results are not needed for the application itself but will be needed before fertilisation.


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