As long as you have your free permit displayed they do not limit time or frequency of visit, or which site you choose.

Congestion, out-of-county visitors and illegal commercial waste have created problems for customers at recycling sites, put safety and efficiency at risk, and driven up operating costs.  Permits help tackle this by reducing congestion, improving services and enhancing safety. Similar schemes have been introduced in many other local authorities including all of Somerset’s neighbouring authorities in North Somerset, Bath and North East Somerset, Dorset, Devon and Wiltshire.

Questions and Answers

When can you use your permit?

You can use permits during normal site opening hours.

What information will I need to provide on the application?

The online application will request your name (title, forename, surname) and full postal address. If you are applying for a van permit, you will need to provide the registration, make, model and colour. If the permit is for a pick-up, including Land Rover pick-up, campervan or minibus, apply for a van permit and give the same details. If applying for a trailer permit, provide the registration number of up to two cars – not vans or pick-ups – that you would use to tow your trailer.

What will the permit look like?

Permits are the size and appearance of a credit card. They have no expiry date but are specific to the vehicle and permit holder, and cannot be transferred, sold, given away or exchanged. They should be clearly displayed on your dashboard.

Will I need the permit with me every time I visit a site?

Yes, and it will need to be clearly visible on entry and maybe inspected by a member of site staff.

How many permits can I have? (for example if I have a van as well as a car and trailer?)

Each household is entitled to up to one van permit and one trailer permit.

You can register up to two car registration to tow a trailer on any trailer permit.

I have a company vehicle registered to the company which is not based in Somerset. Can I still have a permit?

Yes, but you must use your residential address in Somerset for the application. It is the residential address of the driver that is relevant for the application.

I am a trader and have a van or pick-up which is registered to my business at my home address. Can I still have a permit?

Yes, but it can only be used to bring your domestic/household waste, and cannot be used to tow any trailer onto any recycling site. There is strict inspection on sites and we will investigate further if commercial misuse is suspected, and take appropriate legal action where warranted, and withdraw the permit where proven. Box vans and Luton vans cannot access sites.

What happens if my permit does not arrive?

Please allow 15 working days from applying online before contacting us. If you have not received your permit after 15 working days, please email providing your full contact details, the date you applied for your permit and the type of permit you have applied for (trailer or van), with details of the vehicle(s) and their registration number(s).

If you gave an email address, you would have been emailed with a confirmation note (we suggest you download the confirmation at the end of the application process). This can be used for up to 21 days until your permit arrives

Will you contact me to tell me to renew my permit?

Yes, if you provided an accurate email address at the time of application and it remains current.

What if I sell the van or trailer?

Destroy the permit or hand it in to any recycling site. Permits cannot be transferred, sold, given away or exchanged.

Can I tow a trailer on my van permit?

No. Vans, campervans, mini-buses and pick-ups, including Land Rover pick-ups, are not be permitted to tow trailers of any size on to recycling sites.

Can I tow a trailer by hand onto sites or while on sites?

Trailers must be towed by a suitable vehicle for safety reasons, so you are not able to park a vehicle off site and tow your trailer in by hand. Trailers must stay attached to the towing vehicle at all times while on site.

How can I find the classification of my vehicle and its gross weight?

The make, model and type of vehicle you own is given in your V5c vehicle registration document. Your GVW should also be shown in Kgs. The DVLA vehicle classification of your vehicle category can be found by using the link to the DVLA website provided here. Look up your vehicle details and check the classification shown in the line called “Vehicle Type Approval”. If you cannot find the classification of your vehicle, contact SWP customer services with all your details – name, address, phone, email – and those of their vehicle – type, registration number – by emailing with the subject line “Permit: unclassified vehicle”.

I am a Somerset resident, or assisting a family member who is a Somerset resident, and have hired a van or trailer. Do I still need a permit?

You do not need a permit for a short-term hire of a van up to 3.5 tonne gross vehicle weight (inclusive) or trailer of 3 days or less.  Upon entry to the site speak to a member of staff, show your hire agreement, and complete the waste declaration form they provide. This waiver form is to confirm you are bringing your/their household waste only. Once completed, there is provision on the form for it to act as a temporary permit. Hire vans or pick-ups cannot bring in trailers to any site. This “permit waiver form” will only be offered if the duration of hire can be proven as three days or less. Failure to provide this proof will mean you cannot deposit your waste, so you must bring your hire agreement with you.

IMPORTANT – You cannot visit any site with a hire vehicle or trailer if you use a:

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

I have a van hired by my business or employer. Can I have a permit or use the permit waiver form?

No, this waiver form is only available to privately hired vans or trailers used for transporting domestic waste. For commercial waste disposal, please see our Business Advice pages.

Do commercial users require a permit?

No. Commercial/business waste can be taken to the 10 Somerset sites licensed to take commercial waste and payment made to dispose of their waste. This will be a commercial transaction and commercial users will need to comply with the permit scheme regulations regarding vehicle size and use of trailers. All waste brought to site under this exemption MUST be paid for to dispose of. Under no circumstances will vehicles bringing waste under this exemption be able to deposit household/domestic waste.

For more info Business waste and recycling sites

Last reviewed: July 6, 2023 by Joshua

Next review due: January 6, 2024

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