D1 waste exemption: depositing waste from dredging inland waters

The D1 exemption allows you to deposit dredging spoil on the banks of the water it was dredged from and treat it by screening and removing water.

Applies to England

Types of activity you can carry out

If you meet the requirements, you do not need to apply for an environmental permit when you deposit non-hazardous waste from dredging inland waters (dredging spoil) on land under a D1 waste exemption.

Types of activity you cannot carry out

The D1 waste exemption does not allow you to:

  • deposit dredging spoil on the bank of an unconnected inland water, or deposit dredging spoil from any other waters
  • deposit dredging spoil that is hazardous waste
  • treat dredging spoil, other than by screening (removing large items, litter and fly-tipped waste) or removing water
  • deposit litter and fly-tipped waste

Types of waste you can deposit

Your waste must be the following code and type:

  • waste code: 17 05 06
  • waste type: dredging spoil (except spoil in waste code 17 05 05)

Dredging spoil is waste you produce from dredging inland waters. It includes plant matter.

Quantity of waste you can deposit

You can deposit, screen and dewater up to 50 cubic metres of dredging spoil for each metre length of land you deposit the waste on over any 12 month period.

This also applies to dredging spoil you put in a container or lagoon.

Conditions you must comply with

You must:

  • register a D1 waste exemption with the Environment Agency if you meet the requirements
  • remove (screen) large items, litter and fly-tipped waste from dredging spoil – you must send these items to an exempt or permitted waste facility
  • allow any excess water to drain away

You must initially deposit the dredging spoil at the closest possible point to the location of the dredging – either on:

  • the bank of the inland water it came from
  • a width of land adjoining the inland water that allows you to remove and deposit the spoil by mechanical means in one operation

The ‘closest possible point’ takes into account any factors that may prevent you from placing the dredging spoil closer to the dredging point, for example:

  • buildings
  • highways
  • woodland
  • land ownership

‘Adjoining land’ means land immediately next to the inland water.

You must have an appropriate waste exemption or environmental permit if you want to deposit the dredging spoil for recovery or disposal on land that is not immediately next to the dredging location.

You must follow the waste classification technical guidance to assess your dredging spoil to make sure it is not hazardous.

After you deposit, screen and dewater the dredging spoil you may spread it on the adjoining land in one operation, for example using a back actor or bulldozer.

Using containers or lagoons

If you put dredging spoil in a container or lagoon under a D1 waste exemption, you must remove any containment structures when the dredging spoil has dried out, or before you spread it on adjoining land.

If you form a containment bund from the dredging spoils, or soil from the adjoining land, you can level these out and spread them at the site.

If you form the containment from other material, for example straw bales, geotextile or timber, you must remove these off site to an appropriate exempt or permitted waste facility. You may reuse these materials where they remain fit for purpose.

Rivers and canals

The Environment Agency considers that a river or canal is a ‘linear network’ for the purpose of registering this exemption. For more information about linear networks read the linear networks guidance.

When you register a D1 waste exemption for a linear network you must comply with the:

Other permissions or permits you may need

There are different permit options for depositing waste dredged from inland waterways onto land.

As well as registering the D1 waste exemption, you may also need to comply with other legislation. For example:

You can spread plant matter that is cut along the banks of an inland water under U13 waste exemption: spreading plant matter to provide benefits.

You can spread dredging spoil from creating or maintaining habitats, ditches or ponds within parks, gardens, fields and forests under:

You must apply for an environmental permit if you want to:

  • carry out a treatment activity, or treat or deposit more waste than this exemption allows
  • spread dredging spoil on land, or use dredging spoil in construction, but cannot comply with the conditions in the related exemptions

Register a D1 exemption

You must register this exemption with the Environment Agency if you meet the requirements.

Updates to this page

Published 12 September 2019
Last updated 21 April 2021 + show all updates
  1. Updated to clarify the conditions in this exemption, including the types of waste you can and cannot use and where it can be used relative to the dredging operation. Clarified when you can use a lagoon to store waste before use.

  2. First published.

Sign up for emails or print this page