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Scottish Golf Environment Group



Here are some guidelines which may help you assess your current practices and offer some ideas for future projects.

Waste Management is a very important aspect of any golf courses' environmental stewardship as much good work can be undone through pollution, spillages, and dumping of contaminated liquids and materials. For this reason it is important that a golf club has a policy for the appropriate and responsible management of waste. The following is an outline for the content of such a policy.

Grass cuttings, corings and other organic material:

Many courses are currently setting up systems for the collection and centralised composting of cuttings, for possible re-application as an organic top dressing on walkways, worn areas, eroded channels etc. However, the clippings could also contribute to many other areas of horticultural practice on the estate. Collection points are commonly made from bunded concrete or slabbed bays, bins or sealed containers (often sunk in to the ground to avoid visual intrusion). These could be located at every tee and green and regularly emptied. A properly constructed composting area would have to be designed to avoid leachate and groundwater contamination.

Storage and Disposal of Used Oil:

  • Avoid any incidences of oil being tipped into any drains or onto any areas of land.
  • Ensure all used oils such as hydraulic fluid or lubricants are stored securely for collection by a registered waste carrier, who may actually pay for the oil, as a valuable material.
  • If considering redevelopment of the existing maintenance facility, ensure that an impervious base with oil tight bund is constructed for the storage of an oil storage tank, or oil stored in drums. The bunded areas should be capable of holding at least 110% of the tank or drum volume. Fill pipes, funnels and sight gauges should be enclosed within the bunded area.
  • A similar area could be investigated for the storage of used oil awaiting removal from site.

Pesticide storage and preparation:

  • Storage of products should be to statutory requirements and BASIS standard.
  • Metal containers stored off the ground to prevent corrosion.
  • On site storages hold be minimal - only what is required for immediate use.
  • Aim to minimise the volume of waste, and produce no waste if possible. The amount required should be calculated carefully and the application rate and calibration of equipment precisely assessed.
  • Avoid back siphoning of pesticide into water by use of a siphon break. Ensure there are no direct connections between a spray tank and water supply.

Pesticide Disposal and Containers:

After spraying all equipment should be cleaned, washed and rinsed. The tank should be flushed with small volumes of water rather than simply filling and emptying. This will reduce the volume of water used in the rinsing process.

Empty containers of gassing powders should be filled with dry sand or earth and punctured before disposal.

Dilute pesticides should never be poured into soakaway drains, or into drains connected to septic tanks. They should be:

  • Re-used in further batches of same spray
  • Applied to previously treated areas
  • Sprayed onto turfed land of minimal wildlife and habitat value eg. practice ground
  • Employ a specialist waste disposal contractor to remove

Concentrate pesticide should be used in the approved manner. If the pesticide is unused and unwanted it may be able to return it to the supplier. Otherwise a specialist waste disposal contractor should be used. Contact the Council Waste Recycling Officer.

Containers may be returned to suppliers or manufacturers. Empty containers must be triple rinsed before disposal, ideally during mixing and preparation opportunities.

Puncture and crush containers after cleaning. Contact SEPA to confirm most appropriate methods of disposal for your area.

Spillages and Training

  • Establish appropriate emergency procedures and train all staff in their operation.
  • Contain spillages using absorbent material or sand.
  • Do not hose into any drains, soakaways or streams.
  • Contaminated materials should be removed by specialist disposal contractors.
  • If there is a risk that ground or surface waters have before contaminated contact SEPA immediately.
  • Ensure all staff are properly and fully qualified and trained for the safe, efficient and humane use of pesticides and are competent in their duties.
  • All efforts should be made to minimise chemical use through the adoption of an Integrated Approach to Turfgrass and Pest Management


By following this approach, golf clubs will be fulfilling the waste management criteria for the Scottish Awards for Environmental Excellence (see Awards page)

Our publication Waste Management Toolkit can be downloaded for further information





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