National operator waste returns

How to complete waste or materials facility returns, and deadlines for submission.

Applies to England

Operators with an environmental permit must complete waste returns to tell the Environment Agency about the waste they have received or removed from their site.

From April 2019, operators with a permit authorising waste activities must also include details about the technically competent manager at their site.

The Environment Agency uses this information to:

  • monitor a site’s compliance with its environmental permit conditions
  • compile national statistics about waste

Deadlines for submitting waste returns

Quarterly returns

Quarters Deadline for return
1 January to 31 March 30 April
1 April to 30 June 31 July
1 July to 30 September 31 October
1 October to 31 December 31 January

Yearly returns

Annual return period Deadline for return
1 January to 31 December 31 January of the following year

How to complete your waste return

Complete your waste return in one of the following ways:

  1. Email your waste returns spreadsheet.
  2. Use the online waste returns Generic Operator Returns (GOR) spreadsheet to upload or enter your data.
  3. Request a paper form from the Environment Agency - call 03708 506 506 (see call charges) or email

See the national operator waste returns privacy notice which explains:

  • what data we need to collect
  • what we do with the data
  • how long we hold the data
  • your rights

Waste returns spreadsheet for email returns

Use the Waste returns spreadsheet for email returns to email your return.

You may need to zip large files so that you can email them successfully.


  • to submit your spreadsheet
  • if you have any problems emailing your return

Waste returns GOR spreadsheet

Use the Waste returns GOR spreadsheet to compile your data in XML format. You can upload it directly into the GOR system. Or you can manually enter your data online.

You must email to request login details. You must provide your permit number(s), company name and telephone number.

You must also complete the technically competent manager form and email it to

Report the correct waste codes for your site

Your permit has a list of the European Waste Catalogue (EWC) codes your site can accept.

See the Waste classification technical guidance for more information.

Disposal and recovery (D and R) codes

See the list of D and R codes in Annexes 1 and 2 of the Directive of the waste and repealing certain Directives.

Published 28 June 2019
Last updated 4 September 2020 + show all updates
  1. We have removed the section on waste conversion factors and replaced it with a section on how to report the correct waste codes for your site.

  2. Removed the section Waste values picklist as this is duplicated within the actual returns spreadsheets.

  3. Removed the section for Material Facilities (MF) returns. Some waste operators have been submitting MF returns by mistake. We contact MF direct for their returns.

  4. Added a link to the waste returns privacy notice and to the list of disposal and recovery codes.

  5. Removed the disposal and recovery flowchart as it’s out of date. You can email us to request guidance on codes.

  6. First published.