T2 waste exemption: recovering textiles

The T2 exemption allows you to clean waste clothes and textiles to recover them for reuse or recycling.

Types of activity you can carry out

These include:

  • laundering or cleaning waste clothes to recover them so they can be reused
  • laundering or cleaning waste textiles so they can be used to make carpet underlay under another exempt waste operation

Types of activity you cannot carry out

You cannot:

  • shred or bale any of the types of waste under this exemption (see related exemptions)
  • clean textiles that aren’t going to be recovered or reused
  • treat hazardous waste

Types of waste you can treat

The waste codes are 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
191208 Textiles
200110 Clothes
200111 Textiles

Amount of waste you can treat

You can store or treat up to 20,000 tonnes of waste at any one time.

Key conditions

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

Other things you need to know

You must not discharge dirty water from laundering to surface water, groundwater or sewers without the correct consent.

Find out more about environmental permits for discharges to surface water and groundwater activities.

To discharge dirty water to sewer you need consent from your local water company.

Related exemptions

If you want to bale waste textiles, you should consider:

T4 – preparatory treatments, such as, baling, sorting, shredding

If you want to make finished goods from waste textiles you should consider:

U9 – use of waste to manufacture of finished goods

Registering a T2 exemption

You need to register this exemption with us if you meet the requirements:


Discharge consent – a consent issued under Chapter II of Part 3 of the Water Resources Act 1991 or Regulation of the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010.

Hazardous waste – see How to classify different types of waste.

Sealed drainage – a drainage system with an impermeable surface that ensures:

  • no liquid will run off the surface apart from via the system
  • all liquids entering the system are collected in a sealed sump except where they may be lawfully discharged
Published 28 April 2014