Guidance

Waste exemption: T4 preparatory treatments, such as, baling, sorting, shredding

This exemption allows you to treat waste to reduce its volume to help transport it to another site for reuse or recycling or make handling easier.

Types of activity you can carry out

These include:

  • baling loose paper and cardboard before transporting it to another site for recycling
  • baling and shredding aluminium cans
  • sorting different types of plastic bottles

Types of activity you can’t carry out

You can’t:

  • use heat to densify the waste
  • combine the storage limits of this exemption and S2 - storing waste in a secure place to increase the overall storage capacity (this exemption has storage limits for each type of waste so you don’t have to register 2 separate exemptions)
  • mix types of waste for treatment or storage
  • treat hazardous waste
  • bale waste before it is sent to landfill or incineration

Types of waste you can treat

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

Waste code Type of waste
150104, 200140 Cans and foils only
070213, 150102, 150105 Food and drink cartons only
150107, 160120, 170202, 191205, 200102 Glass
030308, 030307, 150101, 191201, 200101 Paper and cardboard (excluding food and drink cartons)
020104, 070213, 120105, 150102, 160119, 170203, 191204, 200139 Plastic
040222, 150109, 191208, 200110, 200111 Textiles and clothes

Amount of waste you can treat and store

Where the treatment involves pulverising waste you can treat up to five tonnes in any 7-day period and the pulverising must take place indoors.

You can store waste for up to 12 months.

Cans and foils

You can:

  • treat up to 100 tonnes outside in any 7-day period
  • treat up to 500 tonnes indoors in any 7-day period
  • store up to 500 tonnes at any one time

Food and drink cartons and plastics

You can:

  • treat up to 100 tonnes outside in any 7-day period
  • treat up to 3,000 tonnes indoors in any 7-day period
  • store up to 500 tonnes at any one time

Glass

You can:

  • treat up to 5,000 tonnes in any 7-day period
  • store up to 5,000 tonnes at any one time

Textiles

You can:

  • treat up to 1,000 tonnes outside in any 7-day period
  • treat up to 3,000 tonnes indoors in any 7-day period
  • store up to 1,000 tonnes at any one time

Paper and cardboard

You can:

  • treat up to 500 tonnes outside in any 7-day period
  • treat up to 3,000 tonnes indoors in any 7-day period
  • store up to 15,000 tonnes at any one time (up to 1,000 tonnes outside in an enclosure designed and maintained to prevent litter escaping)

The waste can only be stored:

  • in a baled form
  • in a container or indoors

Key conditions

Different types of waste have to arrive separately and be kept apart throughout the treatment.

The waste must be stored and treated in a secure place.

You do not need to register this exemption if you only want to bale waste at the place where it is produced. This is accepted as ancillary treatment before the collection of waste.

Related exemptions

If you only want to store these types of waste but not treat them, you could register:

S2 – storing waste in a secure place

There is another exemption which allows small-scale sorting of mixed recyclable wastes. You could consider:

T10 – sorting mixed wastes

Register a T4 exemption

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

If you want to treat more than the amount of waste allowed under this exemption, you must apply for an environmental permit.

Definitions

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

Place of production – the place where waste was originally produced.

Secure – a container, lagoon or other place is secure if:

  • all reasonable precautions are taken to make sure the waste cannot escape
  • members of the public cannot gain access to the waste
Published 28 April 2014