Treating waste: waste exemptions

List of exemptions for treating waste, for example sorting or processing it in certain ways. You must comply with the specific rules of each exemption.

A waste exemption is a waste operation that is exempt from needing an environmental permit. Each exemption has specific limits and conditions you need to operate within.

If you want to operate under a waste exemption you must register that exemption with the Environment Agency. If you do not, you will not be exempt from needing a permit.

Each registration lasts 3 years. The registration will then expire unless you renew the exemptions you want to continue to use.

Registering an exemption does not remove the need to apply for other permits or permissions. For example, you may need planning permission for your waste operation, or a water discharge permit.

There are 2 waste treatment exemptions that you need to register with the local authority, not the Environment Agency. These are:

  • T3 – treatment of waste metals and metal alloys by heating for the purposes of removing grease
  • T7 – treatment of waste bricks, tiles and concrete by crushing, grinding or reducing in size

Register with the local authority where you have your principle place of business. If this is outside England and Wales, it should be with the local authority where the operation will be carried out.

Find a full description of T3 and T7 at Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2016.

Treating waste exemptions

  1. T1 waste exemption: cleaning, washing, spraying or coating relevant waste
  2. T2 waste exemption: recovering textiles
  3. T4 waste exemption: preparatory treatments, such as, baling, sorting, shredding
  4. T5 waste exemption: screening and blending waste
  5. T6 waste exemption: treating waste wood and waste plant matter by chipping, shredding, cutting or pulverising
  6. T8 waste exemption: mechanically treating end-of-life tyres
  7. T9 waste exemption: recovering scrap metal
  8. T10 waste exemption: sorting mixed waste
  9. T11 waste exemption: repairing or refurbishing waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE)
  10. T12 waste exemption: manually treating waste
  11. T13 waste exemption: treating waste food
  12. T14 waste exemption: crushing and emptying vehicle waste oil filters
  13. T15 waste exemption: treating waste aerosol cans
  14. T16 waste exemption: treating waste toner and ink cartridges
  15. T17 waste exemption: crushing waste fluorescent tubes
  16. T18 waste exemption: using flocculants to remove water from waste
  17. T19 waste exemption: physical and chemical treatment of waste edible oil and fat to produce biodiesel
  18. T20 waste exemption: treating waste at a water treatment works
  19. T21 waste exemption: recover waste at a waste water treatment works
  20. T23 waste exemption: aerobic composting and associated prior treatment
  21. T24 waste exemption: anaerobic digestion at premises used for agriculture and burning resulting biogas
  22. T25 waste exemption: anaerobic digestion at premises not used for agriculture and burning resulting biogas
  23. T26 waste exemption: treatment of kitchen waste in a wormery
  24. T27 waste exemption: treatment of sheep dip using organophosphate-degrading enzyme
  25. T28 waste exemption: sort and denature controlled drugs for disposal
  26. T29 waste exemption: treatment of non-hazardous pesticide washings by carbon filtration for disposal
  27. T30 waste exemption: recover silver
  28. T31 waste exemption: recover monopropylene glycol from aircraft antifreeze fluids
  29. T32 waste exemption: treatment of waste in a biobed or biofilter
  30. T33 waste exemption: recover central heating oil by filtration
Published 28 April 2014
Last updated 29 April 2020 + show all updates
  1. We have updated the content for the 2016 version of the Environmental Permitting Regulations – we have removed references to the T22 exemption for animal by-products.

  2. Minor changes to the page title and description to improve search results. This will help customers find relevant exemption guidance.

  3. First published.