Find out about waste exemptions, the rules you need to follow and how to register, including WEEE, bulk exemptions and linear networks.
You may need an environmental permit if your business uses, treats, recovers, stores or disposes of waste.
Some waste operations are exempt from needing a permit and can operate under a waste exemption instead.
Waste exemption rules
You must register your waste exemption(s).
You can only register a waste exemption if your waste operation:
- meets all the limits and conditions of an exemption
- doesn’t harm the environment or human health
If you don’t follow these rules your waste operation is not exempt and the Environment Agency can ‘deregister’ your exemption.
It may also take enforcement action or prosecute you if you don’t meet the limits and conditions of an exemption or if you’ve harmed people or the environment.
If you can’t meet the limits and conditions of an exemption you must apply for an environmental permit.
It’s free to register all waste exemptions except for a T11 waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) exemption which costs £840.
Each waste exemption registration lasts 3 years so you’ll need to re-register the exemption if you’re still carrying out that waste operation after 3 years.
When you don’t need to register
You don’t need to register the 3 non waste framework directive exemptions covering the temporary storage of waste, but you must follow the limits and conditions they set out.
Before you register
You must read the waste exemptions guidance to:
- decide which waste exemptions apply to your operations
- check you can meet all the limits and conditions set
The exemptions guidance categories are:
You may also need to get planning permission if you’re carrying out an exempt waste operation.
You can only register online on GOV.UK if you’re carrying out exempt waste operations in England.
You can’t register the T11 exemption to treat WEEE online. You need to register this using a form.
To complete your online registration you’ll need the:
- number and description for each waste exemption you want to register (eg, U1 - use of waste in construction) - you can find these in the exemption guidance
- name and address of the individual, business or organisation that will be carrying out the waste operations
- registration number and registered address details if you’re registering waste exemptions for a limited company or limited liability partnership
- name and address of the person who will be sent the registration confirmation
- address and postcode for all the locations where the exempt activity is being carried out, or a 12-digit National Grid reference if there is no postcode
Start your registration using the new online service. Please provide feedback on this new service so we can keep improving it.
Register T11 WEEE exemption
The T11 exemption to treat WEEE can’t be registered online.
Instead, you’ll need to fill in form WEEEX001 and send it to the Environment Agency address on the form.
It costs £840 to register and you can pay by:
- credit or debit card - complete form CC1 and send it with your registration form
- electronic transfer
Register bulk waste exemptions at multiple sites
A multiple or bulk registration lets you register the same exemption at more than 30 sites.
Register linear networks
In most cases, an exempt waste operation happens at a place you can define by a single postcode or grid reference. If it takes place on a stretch of road, river, canal or railway (a linear network) you may not be able to pinpoint the activity to one place.
A linear network registration allows you to register U1, U12, D1 and D2 exemptions when you can’t pinpoint the location of your waste operation to a defined postcode or grid reference.
To register, you need to complete the linear network registration part of this spreadsheet and email it to email@example.com.
Find out more about how the Environment Agency defines one place for a waste exemption registration.
Contact the Environment Agency if you have queries about waste exemptions or need help registering.
National Customer Contact Centre
PO Box 544
Telephone 03708 506 506
Telephone from outside the UK (Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm GMT) +44 (0) 114 282 5312
Minicom (for the hard of hearing) 03702 422 549
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm