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You need a permit to bring household waste into recycling sites with certain vehicles or towing trailer

IntroductionWho needs a permit?Terms and conditions


You need a permit to bring household waste into recycling sites with certain vehicles or towing trailer. There are restrictions on both vehicle and trailer size.

  • Vans, pick-up, campervans and mini-buses or similar large capacity vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes gross vehicle weight.
  • Trailers single axle up to a three metre floor length towed by cars.

Apply for a permit

You need a permit to bring household waste into recycling sites with certain vehicles.

This form has 5 pages and will take approximately 3 – 4 minutes to complete.

Permits are only available to Somerset residents and allow them to use open sites during normal operating hours. They are free and must be taken to site and displayed on each and every visit.

Only one permit for a van (or similar large capacity vehicle) and/or one permit for a trailer (to be towed by car) is allocated per household.

Under permit Terms and Conditions, your data may be shared with Local Authority Officers and other governmental organisations legally entitled to request the information we hold.

Permit frequently asked questions and answers

The following vehicles cannot access any recycling site if towing a trailer: vans, pick-ups, campervans or mini-buses.

Who needs a permit?

It depends on the DVLA vehicle classification. Most vehicles without trailers do not need a permit, but drivers of vans, pick-ups, campervans, minibuses and trailer users, must check requirements before they visit site.

To identify the DVLA vehicle classification of your vehicle. Look up your vehicle details and check the classification shown in the line called “Vehicle Type Approval”. Or, check your V5 document (where your vehicle does not have a DVLA classification, please contact the Somerset Council for clarification).

You need a permit if you use:

  • A vehicle with an ‘N1’ classification, which means ‘designed and constructed for the carriage of goods under 3.5 tonnes’, such as: vans, pick-ups and some Land Rovers.
  • A campervan or minibus with ‘N1’ or ‘M1’ classification.
  • A single-axle trailer of up to three-metre floor length (but only if towed by a car with ‘M1’ classification – including similar pre classified vehicles). Vehicles that require a permit cannot tow a trailer under any circumstances.

You may need a permit if you use:

  • A pre DVLA classified vehicle—please contact Somerset Council for clarification where your vehicle does not show a DVLA classification.

You cannot apply for a permit or visit any site if you use:

  • A vehicle with an M2, M3, N2 or N3 classification.
  • Any Luton van or box van, regardless of classification.
  • A single axle trailer over three-metres floor length.
  • Any multi-axle trailer.
  • A horse box, agricultural vehicle, agricultural trailer.

You do not require a permit unless towing a single axle trailer:

Any vehicle (except camper vans & minibuses) with an M1 classification, (or similar pre classified vehicles) ‘designed and constructed for the carriage of people and comprising no more than eight seats in addition to the driver’s seat’, such as: most cars, estates & people carriers. Only these vehicles may tow a trailer onto a recycling site.

Hired vehicles – if hired for up to three days and compliant with permit conditions, take hire contract to site staff on entry and fill in a waiver form, which acts as a temporary permit. Check your vehicle registration.

Vans, pick-ups, campervans, minibuses, Land Rover pick-ups cannot access sites while towing trailers.

Multi-axle trailers cannot access sites.

Business users

If you are a business user, you do not need a permit to start or continue using the 10 recycling sites that take paid-for trade waste but check for details.

Permit requirements – summary diagram

Check below to see which vans, including car derived vans, pick-ups, camper vans, minibuses and Land Rovers require permits. In case of queries, your vehicle make, model and type is given in the V5c vehicle registration document. Your gross vehicle weight in kilogrammes should also be shown. Land Rovers have a separate pictogram.

Document preview
Recycling centre permits pictogram

Pictogram showing permit requirements for cars, vans and other vehicles

JPG, 106KB

Land Rover permit requirements

You must check to see if your vehicle is classified as M1 or N1. Those with a M1 classification do not need a permit, unless one is required for towing a single axle trailer of up to three metres floor length. Those with a N1 classification do need a permit and cannot tow a trailer.

Land Rovers without a classification

Usually pre-1968 models. Check the summary diagram below. If further help is needed, email enquiries@somersetwaste.gov.uk  with all relevant personal details (name, postal address, phone number, email address) and vehicle details (type, registration number) with the subject line “Permit: unclassified Land Rover”.

Document preview
Land Rover permit clarification pictogram

Pictogram clarifying permit requirements for Land Rovers

JPG, 102KB

Terms and conditions

Apply for a permit – Terms and conditions

  • You must bring your permit with you when you attend site with your van or trailer.
  • A maximum of one van permit and one trailer permit will be allocated per household.
  • You accept the restrictions on access for vans and trailers as specified in our Permitted Vehicles guidance.
  • All vehicles must be road legal to access any recycling site.
  • You must not bring waste to a recycling site for which you have taken payment to transport or deposit, even if it is from a household.
  • Commercial waste cannot be deposited at any Somerset recycling site under the applied-for permit.
  • The site operator (Biffa) has instructions to enquire as to the origin of waste being deposited if they suspect the waste is not from your household.
  • Somerset Council reserves the right to make further enquiries regarding the source of the waste and, if found to have originated from a commercial source, will seek to take legal action against the vehicle driver.
  • The site operator (Biffa) has the authority to refuse use of the site to anyone suspected of depositing commercial waste as household waste.
  • Failure to comply with the site operator’s compliance checks may result in the withdrawal of your permit.
  • Permits are not transferable and should be destroyed if you no longer use the van or the towing vehicles for which the details are shown on the permit. A new permit with the correct vehicle details will be required by making a new application.
  • All permits remain the property of Somerset Council and will be withdrawn if these terms and conditions are breached.
  • These terms and conditions, and others relating to use of recycling sites and other waste services, may be changed at any time without prior warning.
  • On entering any Somerset Council recycling site your Vehicle Registration Number Plate will be recorded by our Automatic Number Plate Recognition system and Closed Circuit TV cameras. These are in operation on all Household Waste Recycling Sites across Somerset.
  • Your data will be used by Somerset Council for the purposes of processing your permit application, monitoring site usage, advising you of permit system changes and renewal reminders.
  • Your data may be shared with Local Authority Officers and other governmental organisations legally entitled to request the information we hold. We will only share your data in order to meet statutory obligations and where we are legally required to in order to ensure compliance with the terms of use of our facilities.
  • Use of this permit scheme is solely for Somerset residents with a residential address within the County.

Last reviewed: February 15, 2024 by Daniel

Next review due: August 15, 2024

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