T9 waste exemption: recovering scrap metal

The T9 exemption allows you to treat scrap metal for handling or recovery by sorting, grading, shearing by manual feed, baling, crushing or cutting with handheld equipment.

Types of activity you can carry out

These include:

  • crushing and baling aluminium cans
  • crushing ferrous (containing iron) metal such as steel
  • shearing copper pipes by manual feed to make them easier to store

Types of activity you cannot carry out

You cannot:

  • receive, store or treat any end-of-life vehicles or components of end-of-life vehicles such as engine blocks, batteries or catalytic converters
  • treat hazardous waste
  • burn any waste

Types of waste you can treat

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

Waste code Type of waste
020110 Waste metal
150104 Metallic packaging
160117, 191202 Ferrous metal
160118, 191203 Non ferrous metal
170401 Copper, bronze, brass
170402 Aluminium
170403 Lead
170404 Zinc
170405 Iron and steel
170406 Tin
170407 Mixed metals
170411 Cables not containing oil, coal tar or other dangerous substances
200140 Metals

Amount of waste you can treat and where you can treat it

You can:

  • store or treat up to 1,000 tonnes of waste at any one time
  • store or treat up to 50 tonnes of cables at any one time
  • store waste for up to 24 months
  • store any pile or stack of waste up to a maximum height of 5 metres
  • store and treat waste in a place with sealed drainage

Key conditions

Treatments you can carry out:

  • sorting
  • grading
  • shearing by manual feed
  • baling
  • crushing
  • cutting with hand-held equipment

Other things you need to know

You must keep records of the quantity, nature, origin and, where relevant, the destination and treatment method of all waste recovered. You must keep these records for 2 years. During this time, you must make these records available to us if we ask for them.

If you want to use up to 2 depolluted end-of-life vehicles as parts for vehicles, you should register:

If you only want to store metal at a dock before it is exported or after it is imported to be recovered elsewhere, you should register:

You can use metal under the following exemptions, where it is appropriate:

Register a T9 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 or treat end-of-life vehicles, you will need to apply for an environmental permit.


End-of-life vehicle (ELV) – an ELV is any type of motor vehicle that is waste. Waste is anything you discard, intend to discard or are required to discard. This includes metal sent for recycling or reuse.

Depolluted end-of-life vehicle – a waste vehicle from which all hazardous substances or components, including fuels, lubricating and hydraulic oils, coolants, batteries, air conditioning fluids and air bags have been removed.

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

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

  • 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
Last updated 12 January 2021 + show all updates
  1. Clarified where you can treat the waste - in a place with sealed drainage.

  2. First published.