B3.10.8 Environmental Permits and Waste Exemptions


Waste Exemptions

Regulations changing waste exemptions were introduced on 6th April 2010.

Waste operations are waste disposal or recovery activities, such as operating a waste transfer station or metal recycling site. They need an environmental permit unless they are exempt from environmental permitting.

An exempt waste operation is a low risk waste handling operation that is listed in Schedule 3 Part 1 of the regulations.

Such activities must be registered as an exemption. This does not mean that they are exempt from the regulations. If you register a waste exemption, you must renew the exempt waste operation registration every three years.

Exempt waste operations are grouped into four main categories:

  • Use of waste
  • Treatment of waste
  • Disposal of waste
  • Storage of waste.


Each exempt waste operation is set out in a standard format with:

  • A letter and paragraph number to identify it, eg use of waste in construction (U1).
  • A description of the exempt waste operation.
  • Waste codes, waste types and quantity limits covered by the exempt waste operation.
  • Specific conditions that apply to the exempt waste operation.


An exempt waste operation must not:

  • Pose a risk to water, air, soil, plants or animals, eg by causing water pollution.
  • Cause a nuisance, eg noise or odour.
  • Affect the countryside or places of special interest, eg a site of special scientific interest (SSSI).


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.