Use of human waste as fertilizer (FOI)
Use of human waste as fertilizer (FOI)Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by Government of Jersey and published on 15 February 2023.
Prepared internally, no external costs.
Does Jersey still use human waste as a fertilizer?
If not, when did this practise cease?
If so, which farms currently utilise this practise and please explain to process that is used?
What checks are made to ensure its safety?
Yes, treated sewage sludge, known as Biosolids, is spread on agricultural land to enhance soil quality and recycle valuable plant nutrients.
This is widely accepted as a good agricultural and environmental practice.
The information you have requested regarding the process required for the use of Biosolids is partially exempt under Article 23 of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011 as the information is accessible to on www.gov.je within the previous Freedom of Information responses linked below:
The use of human waste as fertilizer (FOI)
Biosolids used on agricultural fields (FOI)
It should be noted that there are strict regulations in place for the use of Biosolids in agriculture governed by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). These are followed by the Government of Jersey.
- Biosolids are applied in accordance with The Sludge (Use in Agriculture) Regulations and The Code of Practice for the Agricultural Use of Sewage Sludge.
- The Safe Sludge Matrix is followed. This is an agreement between water and sewage operators and major retailers, which stipulates the suitability of biosolids in relation to different crop groups and rotation.
- The Safe Sludge Matrix ensures the highest possible food safety, giving retailers and the food industry confidence that the use of biosolids in agriculture is safe and sustainable.
Information regarding the names of farmers using Biosolids is exempt under Article 25 (Personal Information) of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011 as this data constitutes personal Information.
The information requested regarding the safety of using Biosolids is exempt under Article 23 of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011 as the information is already accessible on www.gov.je within the previous Freedom of Information response linked in the response to question C.
Article 23 - Information accessible to applicant by other means
(1) Information is absolutely exempt information if it is reasonably available to the applicant, otherwise than under this Law, whether or not free of charge.
(2) A scheduled public authority that refuses an application for information on this ground must make reasonable efforts to inform the applicant where the applicant may obtain the information.
Article 25 - Personal information
(1) Information is absolutely exempt information if it constitutes personal data of which the applicant is the data subject as defined in the Data Protection (Jersey) Law 2005.
(2) Information is absolutely exempt information if –
(a) it constitutes personal data of which the applicant is not the data subject as defined in the Data Protection (Jersey) Law 2005; and
(b) its supply to a member of the public would contravene any of the data protection principles, as defined in that Law.