Check if your waste operation is exempt and find out how to register exemptions with us.
Some specific types of waste operation do not need an environmental permit. These are described as exempt waste operations. However, most exemptions do need to be registered with us.
Agricultural waste exemptions also need to be registered with us, but in a different way. You can find more information about how to register these from our agriculture section.
Simple and complex exemptions
Different exemptions need different levels of information depending on the level of risk the activity poses.
If your activity is considered to be lower risk (simple) we can register your activity as exempt on return of the correctly completed form. There is no charge for the registration of simple exemptions. For more details go to our page on simple exemptions:
Higher risk (complex) exemptions require more information to be provided so that we can assess the risks. If the risks are too high, we may refuse to register your activity as exempt. Almost all of these exemptions are charged and must be renewed annually. For more details visit our page on complex exemptions:
The above exemptions only include those that are registered by us. For a full list of waste exemptions, please see schedule 3 of the Environmental Permitting Regulations (EPR), which you can find on the Office of Public Sector Information website:
The Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2007 have made changes to the exemption regime. This guide details which exemptions have changed, and how:
Together with Defra and the Welsh Assembly Government we are reviewing the system through which we award exemptions from waste management licensing.
We are consulting business and industry on how we will improve the process of granting waste exemptions and invite comments on whether our proposals will work in practice and achieve the aim of our review.
Visit our waste exemptions review page for more information: