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Allotment waste and polluting activities policy

Managing materials on your allotment

Considerations you need to make before you bring any material onto allotment land:

  1. Are the type and the quantity of materials I want to take onto the allotment allowed within the allotment rules?
  2. What do I need to do to comply with legislation relating to the unauthorised or harmful deposit, treatment or disposal of waste?
  3. Do I really need these materials for growing crops on my allotment?

Materials that are not allowed on allotments

Materials that are controlled waste or which have an increased potential to pollute the soil are not allowed on allotment land.

If you bring any of the materials listed below onto your allotment, you will be sent a notice and instructed to remove them:

  • restricted items such as tyres and hazardous waste such as asbestos
  • hazardous non-crop related chemicals and chemical containers
  • hazardous herbicides and pesticides which are no longer deemed safe for use
  • painted and varnished timber
  • composite or bonded wood chip materials such as laminates and chipboard 
  • all artificial carpets or foam backed carpets, linoleum and synthetic flooring materials
  • household items such as sofas, bathroom furniture, and white goods
  • building material such as rubble, aggregates, and plasterboard
  • glass bottles may not be used for construction
  • all trailers or vehicles that are left on the allotment overnight

If you need any further information about what is considered a hazardous waste item, please refer to Norfolk County Council's rubbish and recycling pages.

Tenants are encouraged to consider using natural alternatives to chemicals to minimise potential harm to people and wildlife, and to improve the long term soil health of your plot. Remember if you do use them that you must comply with current regulations and follow application instructions relating to the use of chemicals and potentially harmful substances such as herbicides and insecticides. Further information about withdrawn chemicals can be found through the RHS advice webpages.

Materials that are allowed on allotments

Limited quantities of non-polluting materials are allowed on your allotment as long as these have a clear use in relation to growing crops, and are stored carefully. You should also have a plan for the safe disposal of these materials following the end of your tenancy. These materials include:

  • Unpainted windows which can be used to create a maximum of generally no more than two cold frames. Any broken glass must be removed as soon as possible from your plot should any breakages occur.
  • Limited quantities of blocks or bricks are only allowed on the allotment if they are used to help in the cultivation of crops. Do not bring any more blocks or bricks on to the plot than you are able to remove at the end of your tenancy.
  • Metal mesh and poles for supporting and protecting crops, which do not restrict access to your plot by the allotment officer and which must be secured safely.
  • Whole, unbroken paving slabs can be used for constructing solid shed bases and paths. These can be laid on a base material which must be able to be easily removed from the plot, such as sand. Cement or rubble must not be used. Whole slabs are recommended over broken slabs as these can more easily be reused and removed from the plot if needed at a later date. Paths must not exceed 10 per cent of your plot, and sheds should not exceed an area of 4.5m2

The allotment rules (appendix 3) outlines all the permission, conditions and guidance for building structures on your allotment.


  • Bulky organic materials for use as a growing medium are allowed but are restricted to compost or mulch brought on to your plot in manageable quantities. You must not allow trade waste to be deposited on your allotment plot. For example a tree surgeon would have a responsibility under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to dispose of their waste in accordance with these regulations and must not fly tip trade waste on to the allotments.
  • Sundries such as netting, fleece, and sheet mulch are useful additions to an allotment but should be in usable condition and stored appropriately.