Advantage Good Agricultural Practices Manual

Storage and Disposal of Farm Wastes

If farm wastes, including deadstock, are managed inappropriately, they can cause contamination of the premises, livestock, inputs and food. The accumulation of farm waste can also provide habitats and food for pests.

This Good Agricultural Practice applies to:

All farms.

Examples of general farm waste: All garbage and waste materials generated through normal production processes, including vegetable culls, cracked eggs, and vegetable and barn wash water.

Examples of medical waste: Used medical equipment (e.g. needles), unused or expired medicated feed, animal health products, packaging and/or containers.

Examples of pesticide waste: Unwanted pesticides and/or containers.

Examples of deadstock: According to the current regulations, a "dead animal" covers on-farm livestock mortalities for five species (horses, sheep, goats, swine and cattle). For the purposes of this Good Agricultural Practice, the term "deadstock" covers all on-farm mortalities.

Useful references from OMAFRA

What needs to be done

Store and dispose of farm wastes properly.

How to do it

General farm waste

  • Locate farm waste storage areas away from food handling, input storage and livestock housing areas to prevent cross-contamination and avoid attracting pests.
  • Make sure farm waste storage areas and containers are adequate for the amount of waste generated between disposal times.
  • Clean farm waste storage areas often enough to avoid creating conditions that can cause cross-contamination or attract pests.
  • Where possible, use containers with lids for the storage of farm waste until removal.
  • Remove farm waste often enough and in a manner to prevent cross-contamination and avoid attracting pests.
  • Dispose of all materials according to municipal bylaws.I
  • f farm waste can be used by other sectors, store and ship them so as not to pose a food safety hazard.

Note: Vegetables grown on-farm can be fed to livestock housed on the same farm.

Medical waste

  • Store used needles, empty medicine containers and unwanted or expired animal health products either in commercially available containers or in leak-proof, unbreakable containers labelled Non-Hazardous Waste (medicine bottles) or Biomedical Waste (needles, scalpels and other "sharp" equipment).
  • Choose an appropriate disposal method. To maximize biosecurity and minimize environmental contamination, the preferred disposal method for used medicines and medical equipment is through a licensed commercial transport, disposal or medical waste management company. Another viable disposal option may be your veterinarian. Disposal on your property or in burn barrels is not a desirable disposal option.
  • Check with your local municipal landfill to see if disposal is permitted.
  • Make sure medicated feed and water are disposed of in a manner that? does not contaminate the environment.

Used pesticide containers

  • Triple-rinse all empty pesticide containers by following these steps:
    • Fill empty containers with at least 10% water.
    • Rinse by recapping the container and shaking or rolling.
    • Empty pesticide container contents into sprayer tank.
    • Repeat steps 1 to 3 twice.
  • Do not reuse pesticide containers for storage of other items.
  • Take rinsed containers to a licensed waste disposal site or recycle the containers at a pesticide container depot. Check with your local landfill for complete requirements.
  • For unwanted pesticides, check with your local municipal landfill to inquire about hazardous waste disposal days and local recycling programs.
  • Also check with your pesticide supplier to see if it will accept your empty pesticide containers or unwanted pesticides.


  • Remove, compost or bury all regulated dead animals according to provincial regulations.
  • Locate deadstock storage and removal facilities away from:
    • Animal housing and production areas
    • Fruit or vegetable production areas
    • High-traffic areas
    • Any waterways
  • Protect all stored deadstock from scavengers and vermin and away from public view.
  • Choose a method of regulated dead animal disposal that is currently approved in Ontario. Methods include:
    • Pickup by a provincially licensed Livestock Mortality Collection Service
    • Composting under 60 cm (2 ft.) of straw or sawdust
    • Burial under 60 cm (2 ft.) of soil

Note: Incineration is not a legal disposal option for regulated dead animals.

Did you know?

Pesticide container recycling depots can be located through the Ontario Pesticide Education Program by calling 1-800-652-8573.

Did you know?

Livestock Mortality Collection Service providers should not have access to the barns or high-traffic areas. Pickup should be arranged on a part of the property that is not used in the day-to-day running of the operation.

If you need an audit

Be prepared for the auditor to observe or inquire about storage activities to ensure that:

  • Adequate and proper waste storage areas and/or containers are clearly designated on the farm.
  • 3 Farm waste storage containers and areas are well kept and maintained.
  • Farm waste is removed on a regular basis.
  • Medical waste containers are clearly marked.
  • Empty pesticide containers and unwanted pesticides are stored in a designated area labelled for disposal.
  • Deadstock is stored and/or disposed of according to provincial regulations.

Laws and regulations that apply

The Dead Animal Disposal Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. D. 3, s. 3 (1) and Regulations, R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 263, s. 6 (1) set out the requirements listed above.

See the Nutrient Management Act, 2002, S.O. 2002, c. 4 and Regulation 267/03 for rules around the management of nutrients, including manure, in certain circumstances. Check municipal bylaws, which may also have legal requirements related to manure storage or requirements for Nutrient Management Plans.

See the Dangerous Goods Transportation Act, R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 261 and the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act (Canada), 1992 for requirements for disposal of pesticides, biohazards or infection substances. The Pesticides Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. P. 11, Regulation 914, General, R.R.O. 1990, s. 27 also requires proper disposal of pesticides and their containers in accordance with part V of the Environmental Protection Act and R.R.O. Reg. 347 made under that Act.

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For more information:
Toll Free: 1-877-424-1300
Author: OMAFRA Staff
Creation Date: 27 May 2009
Last Reviewed: 27 May 2009