Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland

Waste exemptions for offices

Waste exemptions for offices

You may need to register an exemption with your environmental regulator from: waste management licensing if you carry out an exempt waste management activity.

Exempt waste activity or operation Exemption reference
Northern Ireland Scotland

Storing any waste (non-hazardous or hazardous/special) temporarily on the site where it is produced in a secure place for no longer than 12 months. For example, paper and cardboard, cans, glass, waste cooking oil or plastic packaging.

Paragraph 41
There are quantity limits for storing hazardous waste.
No need to register.
Paragraph 41
There are quantity limits for storing special waste.
No need to register.

Treating waste where it is produced as long as you don't change the physical, chemical or biological nature of the waste. For example, baling, compacting, crushing or shredding waste paper or cardboard or cans, for recovery elsewhere.

Paragraph 27
No need to register.
Paragraph 27
No need to register.
Composting biodegradable kitchen and canteen waste.
If you do not meet certain conditions you will need an authorisation under the Animal By-Products Regulations to compost on your premises. See our guidance on food and catering waste from offices.
Paragraph 12
Must be registered.
Paragraph 13
Must be registered.


You must check whether your registered exemption needs to be renewed. Some registered exemptions last for as long as the activity is carried out while others may only last for 12 months.

If you are not sure whether your waste operation or waste management activity is covered by a registerable exemption, or how long an exemption will last, contact your environmental regulator for further advice.

Contact your environmental regulator

Further information on waste exemptions

NIEA: Activities exempt from waste management licensing
SEPA: Activities exempt from waste management licensing

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NIEA - Apply online

SEPA - Application forms