Limits on commercial-type vehicles at recycling centres

In April 2021, we introduced limits on commercial-type vehicles using recycling centres. Visits to most sites are by appointment, you can book a slot online

Find out about the trial changes to the recycling booking. These changes mean that you can visit some recycling centres without a booking or without a limit on number of visits. 

On this page you can find out more about the limits:Graphic showing type of vehicles permitted, their size and visit limitations

Vehicles with unlimited access

There is no limit on number of visits per household for these vehicles unless they tow a trailer, horse box or horse trailer:

  • Cars
  • Estate cars
  • People carriers (MPVs)
  • Domestic style pick-up
  • Mobility adapted vehicles (any vehicle that has been adapted for the needs of individuals with disabilities)

View changes to the recycling booking to check if you need to book a visit.

Limited number of visits

Number of visits available per household by vehicle type:

  • 24 visits per year with vans (including car-derived, crew and camper vans), minibuses and trailers
  • 6 visits per year with horse boxes or towable horse trailers
  • 12 visits per year with a car derived van towing a trailer

View changes to the recycling booking to check where limits still apply.


Please note that you cannot tow a trailer, horse box or horse trailer with a large van or minibus.

Trailers must be 10ft (3m) or less in length and be towed by either:

  • Car
  • Mobility adapted vehicle
  • Car derived van
  • Domestic style pick-up

How limits are applied

The limits will be applied automatically when you book your visit.

When you book a slot online, the confirmation email will tell you how many of your allotted slots you have used (for example 2 out of 12).

Banned vehicles

Banned vehicles that cannot deposit waste at recycling centres:

  • Commercial type pick-ups, such as flat beds or livestock trailers
  • Vehicles over 3.5 tonnes
  • Vehicles with more than 4 wheels
  • Tippers
  • Plant vehicles
  • Trailers over 10ft (3m) in length

Why we introduced the limits

The limits have been introduced to move business waste away from recycling centres. This will allow centres to create more space for new recyclable materials, improving the service for householders.

Some businesses currently take their waste to the household recycling centres free of charge. The cost of disposing of business waste taken to recycling centres is significant (estimated at £0.5 million per year) and is paid for by taxpayers. The limits are one of the measures to prevent this from happening.

Businesses can instead use the council’s waste transfer stations, where they will pay by weight for their recycling and non-recyclable waste.

How the limits work

The limits will be applied automatically on a rolling 4 week basis, or annual from April to March, depending on the type of vehicle you are booking in.

A household can use vehicles under both rules, for example they have 24 visits in a year for visiting recycling centres using commercial-type vehicles (such as vans, minibuses, trailers up to 10ft in length and hire vans) and unlimited visits using non-commercial type vehicles (such as cars, estate cars, people carriers, domestic style pick-up or mobility-adapted vehicles).

The year for the 24 visits by commercial-type vehicles runs from 1st April to 31st March.

Community groups requiring access to recycling centres should contact their local Community Waste Officer by emailing to discuss options.