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Environmental Permitting - Exemptions for Waste Treatment

Some waste treatment activities only pose a low risk to the environment or human health. These may be exempt from the requirement for an environmental permit. There are also specific low-risk waste treatment activities that qualify for an environmental permitting exemption.

Certain waste operations have been exempt from the need to hold an environmental permit (formerly a waste management licence) for many years.  These operations are not unregulated, but are subject to a lighter touch regulation requiring those who carry them out to comply with certain rules and not cause harm to the environment.

The Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010 (EP Regulations) stipulate that most activities to manage waste should have an environmental permit. However, there are some exceptions. These are called exemptions. Exemptions are waste operations that do not need a permit, but do need to be registered.

You are strongly advised to read the EP Regulations for the definitive text relating to waste exemptions.

Who Registers Exempt Waste Operations?

If your activity is eligible for a waste exemption, you must generally register it with the Environment Agency. However, local authorities including Boston Borough Council register two types of waste treatment activity:

More about T3 and T7 Activities

T3 activities are the treatment of waste metals for the purposes of removing grease, oil and any non-metallic contaminant by heating in an appliance. To qualify as a T3 exempt waste operation the activity must also meet the following criteria:

T7 activities involve the treatment by crushing, grinding or reducing in size of concrete, bricks, tiles and ceramics or mixtures of these materials (other than those containing dangerous substances, i.e. '170106 mixtures').

Such T7 activities typically involve the use of small-scale/micro crushers and can include some mobile plant.  It is an exempt activity ONLY if it satisfies ALL of the following specific conditions:

Operators of T3 and T7 facilities must also satisfy the general conditions of being carried out with the purposes of recovering the waste and without causing harm to human health and/or the environment.

How do I register my T3 or T7 Exempt Waste Operation?

To do this, you must be the occupier of the land where the exempt activities will be carried out, or have the consent of the occupier.  There is no charge to register.

If the plant is fixed and located within our district, the Council is the regulator for this exemption.  If you operate mobile plant then your principal place of business must be within the Boston district, otherwise you should contact your home local authority.pdf icon Application Form T3 & T7 Waste Exemptions [73kb]

How quickly will my exemption be registered?

We will write to you within 5 working days to confirm whether your application has been accepted or refused. If we require additional information we will contact you and in some cases this may mean it takes longer to complete the registration process.

Are there any restrictions on registering my Exempt Waste Operation?

You cannot register more than one of the same exempt waste operations at the same place at the same time. No more than one company, establishment or undertaking may be registered at the same place for the same exempt waste operation at the same time. Therefore any subsequent registrations for the same waste operation will be invalid. Only the first registered waste operation will be relevant until it is removed or expires.

If you are operating above the thresholds listed within the EP Regulations for each exemption then you must apply for a permit with the relevant regulator for the activity.

Making changes to your Registration

If you make any changes, for example, change of address, change in the waste operation, changes to the primary contact, you must inform us in writing using the T3/T7 Application Form.

Renewal of your Registration

Your registration will be valid for 3 years and you must renew your registration before the registration expires.  You can apply for a renewal of your registration up to 1 month before the expiry date. If you do not apply for a renewal before the expiry date, your registration will be removed and you will no longer be registered for that exempt waste operation.

Public Register of Exempt Operations

As the exemption registration authority we are required to maintain a Public Register of undertakings with a valid T3 or T7 waste exemption. A copy of the Public Register can be inspected at the Council offices.

Failure to comply with the Regulations

It is an offence to carry out activities including keeping, recycling, crushing, baling, composting or dismantling waste materials without an appropriate environmental permit or registered exemption. It is also an offence to fail to renew a registered exemption within the specified time, or to fail to comply with the conditions of the registration.

Related documents

Size Name
[73kb] Application Form T3 & T7 Waste Exemptions Application Form

The documents in this section are in Adobe Acrobat format (pdf). You will need Acrobat Reader to view these files which can be downloaded from the Adobe website free of charge.