Regulations for waste exemptions were changed on 6 April 2012. The regulations affect the types of waste operation that are exempt and the rules which control them.
Find out about the regulations that control waste exemptions and what types of waste operation are listed as exempt.
Registration of all but one of the exemptions is free and lasts for three years. To continue operating for longer than this you will need to renew your registration.
The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) exemption (T11) requires inspection prior to registration, is chargeable and must also be renewed after three years. This exemption listed under the treatment activities:
Amendments to waste exemptions
Changes to existing waste exemptions came into force on 6 April 2012. Please read the summary document to make sure you know what the changes are and what you have to do to comply with them:
Before you register - important information
Many waste operations, even those that are exempt from an environmental permit, may require planning consent. We recommend that you seek advice from your local planning authority before carrying out any waste operation.
The obligation to register exempt operations only applies to organisations such as companies, partnerships, authorities, societies, trusts, clubs, charities or other organisations. Individuals acting in a purely private capacity can still benefit from the exemptions but don‘t need to register.
To register an exemption, you need to be the occupier of the land where your exemption(s) will be carried out or have the consent of the occupier.
You must ensure that waste is recovered or disposed of without endangering human health and causing harm to the environment. In particular:
- without risk to water, air, soil, plants and animals
- without causing nuisance through noise and odours
- without adversely affecting the countryside or places of special interest
You may need to put extra controls in place, over and above the ones specified in the exemptions, to make sure this happens. If the site where you intend to carry out the operation is undeveloped, you should make sure that it will not impact on any protected sites such as European Sites or Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs). For more information please visit our Habitats Directive pages:
How do I find out if my waste operation is exempt?
Step 1 - Decide, using the guide below, what category your waste operation falls into. Make sure you have also read and understood the important information under ‘Before you register’.
Step 2 - Use the links under waste exemption categories to find a list of operations which fall under each category. These are all listed by number and have a one line description.
Step 3 - If the short description matches what you want to do, click on that exemption to find a full description and our guidance.
Step 4 - Use the guidance and description to help you decide if the exemption covers what you want to do. Check the details carefully. You need to be sure that you can always work within the limits and conditions and you will not cause pollution, nuisance or harm to human health.
Step 5 - Follow the steps to register your new waste exemption. We will provide confirmation of your registration after which you may start straight away. You can register several different exemptions at one place.
If you can’t find an exemption then it might be covered by low risk waste:
Or you may require a permit:
Waste exemption categories
There are four categories: use, treatment, disposal and storage. The disposal, treatment and use operations will include storage as part of their permitted activities. You do not need to register a storage operation separately if you have registered one of these exemptions.
The storage exemptions are for those operations where waste is stored temporarily before being moved to another site for recovery. There are a small number of storage exemptions which do not have to be registered. These are included with the storage exemptions.
Operations that involve direct use of waste, such as spreading to improve soil and use of waste textiles or ceramics in educational establishments.
Operations that generally result in some change to the waste such as baling or composting.
Operations that usually lead to the destruction of waste such as incineration or burning or the permanent deposit on land.
Storage operations are those that involve holding waste pending its recovery elsewhere. Some of these do not have to be registered, they have been listed separately.