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Waste permit scheme changes

If you use a van (including hired vans), pick-up vehicle, or a car towing a trailer longer than 1.4m, there will be changes to the waste permit scheme that will affect you. Car users do not need a permit so are not affected by these changes.

What’s changing?

  • From 11 March 2020 permit holders will need to speak to a member of staff and show photo ID such as a driving licence on every visit, before tipping any waste. If your driving licence wasn’t issued in the UK then you must also bring a council tax or utility bill, dated in the last 12 months, showing your full name and address. If the name and address of the person tipping does not match the name and address on the permit, the permit is not valid and you will not be able to tip any waste.
  • The new permit scheme will be digital. Site staff will use a handheld device to access your permit using your vehicle registration or hire company. They will record the types of waste and amounts disposed of on each visit.
  • If you drive a pick-up vehicle you will now need to obtain a waste permit before you can tip waste. Please be aware of the other conditions that apply to vehicles that need a permit.

What do I need to do?

If you have a permit already, please continue to use it as normal. On your next visit after 11 March 2020, the site staff will keep your paper permit. You will then be asked to apply for a digital permit before you use the site again, unless your permit says 'Digital Ready' on the front. If your permit is 'Digital Ready' you will not need to reapply but will still need to hand in the paper permit so that we can upgrade it.

If you don’t have a valid permit, but you use any of the following vehicle types; van (including hired vans), pick-up vehicle, or a car towing a trailer longer than 1.4m, you will need a permit before you can dispose of waste using that vehicle. You can apply for one online.

All applications received before 11 March 2020 will be sent a paper permit to use until the changes take place. After this date, you will be asked to hand in your paper permit so that we can upgrade it to a digital permit. 

Why are we making changes?

Recycling centres are provided for householders to conveniently dispose of their own waste from their own home. Unfortunately, some businesses use the sites to illegally dispose of their business waste, leaving Leicester's tax payers to foot the bill for its disposal. The new permit scheme will help us to prevent and catch illegal traders using large vehicles commonly used by businesses at the recycling centre to dispose of business waste that should have gone to a trade waste facility instead. 

What else do I need to know?

  • Permits will still be free of charge.
  • A standard permit is valid for 12 months and can be used for up to 12 visits.
  • If you are borrowing a vehicle your permit will be valid for one month and can be used for three visits.
  • Permit holders can only use Gypsum Close Recycling Centre and are not permitted to use Freemen’s Common unless disposing of asbestos (which requires advance booking by calling 0116 254 3568).
  • Permits are only issued to residents in the Leicester City Council area.
Full terms and conditions are at the bottom of this page.

What if someone else is driving?

If someone else will be driving the vehicle to help you dispose of your household waste, then you can choose this option in the application form. Please apply for a permit with yourself as the permit holder - you will later be asked to enter the name of the driver. You will need to accompany them to the recycling centre and show YOUR photo ID to the site staff. 

Please be aware, that if a professional has undertaken improvements to your house (such as building, gardening or decorating), then any waste created from that work is business waste and cannot be taken to the household waste recycling centre. If you are paying someone to dispose of your waste or recycling, then this is also classified as business waste by law. 

Please read our guidance on household and business waste (PDF) for more information. If you are physically unable to travel due to disability, age, or injury, please select this option in your application.

Disposing of business waste

Using household waste recycling centres to dispose of business waste is a criminal offence. Our trade waste facility will be happy to accept business waste. There will be no penalties for existing permit holders switching to the trade waste facility at this time, however anyone found to be disposing of business waste at the household facility may be fined and prosecuted.

Abusive and threatening behaviour 

Leicester City Council and Biffa have a strict policy on threatening and abusive language and behaviour. The terms of the permit scheme have been designed to be fair to genuine householders and are made clear during the application process. There is no excuse to abuse site staff, and appropriate action will be taken against you if you do. 

If you wish to discuss the permit scheme further please send us an email to