T16 waste exemption: treating waste toner and ink cartridges

The T16 exemption allows you to treat waste toner or ink cartridges by sorting, cleaning, dismantling or refilling them.

Applies to England

Types of activity you can carry out

This includes cleaning and refilling waste toner cartridges so they can be reused.

Types of activity you cannot carry out

You cannot:

  • treat waste toner or ink cartridges that are hazardous waste
  • treat waste toner or ink cartridges to dispose of them to landfill or incinerate them

Types of waste you can treat

The waste codes are those listed in the List of Wastes (LoW) Regulations. You need to make sure your waste fits within the relevant waste code and description.

Waste code Type of waste
080313 Waste ink not containing hazardous substances
080318 Waste printing toner not containing hazardous substances
150102 Plastic packaging
160216 Cartridges not containing hazardous substances taken from discarded electrical equipment
200139 Plastics

Amount of waste you can treat

You can store and treat up to 150 tonnes of cartridges at any one time.

Key conditions

The treatment must be carried out indoors.

The waste must be treated in a location with sealed drainage.

Other things you need to know

Any waste toner or ink produced from the treatment activity should be stored to prevent it being released into the environment.

S2 – storage of waste in a secure place.

Register a T16 exemption

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


Hazardous waste – see How to classify different types of waste

Sealed drainage – a drainage system with an impermeable surface that makes sure that:

  • no liquid will run off the surface apart from via the system
  • except where they may be lawfully discharged, all liquids entering the system are collected in a sealed sump
Published 28 April 2014
Last updated 5 November 2015 + show all updates
  1. Changed reference of 'dangerous substances' to 'hazardous substances' due to changes in the law.

  2. First published.