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

Whats new on NetRegs

  • EU Exit

    EU Exit updates: Northern Ireland DAERA Brexit news, Scotland SEPA Supporting Scottish businesses with EU exit

  • Waste – Duty of Care Roles and Responsibilities

    The Northern Ireland Environment Agency has published a short guide to the duty of care responsibilities including advice and information for waste producers, carriers and those accepting, storing and treating waste.



  • EIA (Agriculture) Regulations for Northern Ireland

    Any person intending to alter the use or management of areas of uncultivated or semi-natural land must obtain prior approval from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).

    Read more on the DAERA website

  • Guidance from your environmental regulator

    Regulator logos

  • 9 NEW GPPs (Guidance for Pollution Prevention) available now

    The NetRegs team at SEPA, in partnership with The Northern Ireland Environment Agency, Natural Resources Wales and a number of industry bodies have produced 9 new GPPs to replace out of date PPGs. More are coming! Check the available topics

  • New guidance

    New guidance for Start-ups, charities and community projects


NetRegs on NetRegs on youTube

View our latest videos & subscribe to our channel.

NetRegs Update Newsletter

Free monthly email newsletter with environmental updates for Northern Ireland and Scotland

Sign up for free today!


NIEA - Apply online

SEPA - Application forms