How to register or renew waste exemptions. Some waste activities such as storing, using, treating or disposing of waste can operate under a waste exemption.
When you need a waste exemption
A waste exemption is a waste operation that is exempt from needing an environmental permit. Each exemption has limits and conditions that you must meet.
To find out if there is an exemption for your waste operation, and check that you meet the conditions, see choose the right exemptions.
There are some exemptions that do not need to be registered. For example, storing your own waste in most circumstances. See exemptions you do not need to register.
If you cannot meet the limits and conditions of an exemption, you may need to apply for an environmental permit.
When you register an exemption, details about your company and the exemption will be added to the Environment Agency’s public register of exempt waste sites.
It’s free to register waste exemptions, and registration lasts for 3 years.
The exception is the T11 WEEE exemption, which covers repairing or refurbishing waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE). This costs £1,221 to register for 3 years. To register this exemption, use form WEEEX001.
Choose the right exemptions
Waste exemptions are listed in 4 categories. Read the guidance to:
- decide which waste exemptions apply to your operations
- check you can meet all the limits and conditions
These cover operations such as using waste in construction, spreading waste materials on the land, and burning of waste as fuel.
These cover operations such as depositing sanitary waste, agricultural waste and spoil from dredging inland waters, and burning specific waste in an incinerator or in the open.
These cover operations such as preparing, recovering, sorting and treating certain waste materials, such as waste wood and plant matter.
These cover storing certain waste materials in secure containers or at secure sites and the storage of sludge.
Exemptions you do not need to register
If you store your own waste temporarily, or operate a waste collection point, you may not need to register an exemption. However, you must still meet certain limits and conditions. The following activities do not need to be registered.
Storing waste at the site where it was produced. Also carrying out limited treatments like compacting and baling to help with storage or collection, before it is taken away.
Temporarily storing waste that you produced somewhere else, at a secure place that you control. For example, a builder who carries out work and takes the waste back to a skip at their main yard, which is collected when full.
Temporarily storing waste at a collection point before recovering or disposing of the waste elsewhere. This must not be a paid-for service or done by a waste collection business. An example of a collection point is a pharmacy collecting out-of-date medicines returned by patients.
Register or renew your exemptions
When you have found the right exemption, and checked that your operation meets the limits and conditions, you need to register it with us.
You must renew your waste exemption registration every 3 years if you’re still using it.
Before you start
You’ll need to know:
- the exemptions you want to register (for example, S3 the storage of sludge)
- the name, address and contact details of the person, business or organisation carrying out the waste operation
- the site address and postcode where the exemption will be used, or a National Grid reference (for example, ST 58132 72695)
- for a limited company or limited liability partnership, the company registration number and registered address
Bulk registrations and linear networks
If you have more than 30 sites, register using the bulk and linear networks registration form.
Linear networks – road, river, canal or railway
Some exempt operations take place on a stretch of road, river, canal or railway, rather than a single place. To register U1, U12, D1 and D2 exemptions for a linear network, complete the linear network registration form.
Restrictions on registering multiple exemptions
An organisation cannot register more than one of the same exemption at the same place at the same time. Only the first registration will be valid.
Only one organisation can register a particular exemption at one site. Other organisations cannot register the same exemption at that site. Only the first registration will be valid.
You can renew your exemption at the end of the 3 year registration period. You cannot renew your exemption earlier, or de-register and re-register it to increase the amount of waste allowed.
Not complying with the exemption conditions
If you do not operate within the limits and conditions of your exemption, you will not be exempt and your activity will be illegal. The Environment Agency may de-register your exemption. They may also take enforcement action, especially if your activity harms people or the environment.
Contact the Environment Agency
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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
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm.
Due to the impact of COVID-19 on our teams you may experience some delays in responses as most of our staff will be working from home. The best way to contact us is by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) rather than the postal address.