Household waste recycling centres' provision and usage policy

We have a legal duty to provide household waste recycling centres (HWRCs) for Lincolnshire residents only.  We currently provide eleven HWRCs across the county. 

Any strategy reviews that materially affect this document will be subject to a policy review.

This policy document has been developed for HWRCs to:

  • control waste disposal costs to council taxpayers.  We seek to stop traders’ illegal use of HWRCs to deposit commercial waste (also known as trade waste) as household waste.
  • maximise re-use, recycling, composting and recovery.
  • protect the health and safety of site staff and householders.
  • maximise operational efficiency to minimise waiting times and facilitate safe and efficient working practices.
  • help protect the environment – by complying with all relevant legislation related to waste disposal.

Search our find a recycling centre directory for operation details of the HWRC sites. 


The contents of the policy are correct at the time of writing.  We reserve the right to amend the policy or operational practices at any time or in response to emergencies.


HWRCs provide a facility for Lincolnshire householders to deposit their own waste arising from their homes.

The household waste containers at HWRCs are not for the disposal of:

  • commercial waste 
  • waste that is not household waste

Commercial waste is waste produced by a business or commercial activity, even if this takes place within a home. For example, waste is not accepted if its collection and disposal form any part of a business-type arrangement.  This constitutes a commercial activity and hence commercial waste (see policy statement 5).

Landlords should note that waste from rented-out properties and disposed of by or on behalf of the landlord is classed as commercial waste.  The waste must be disposed of via a legitimate commercial waste collection or disposal provider.

Waste generated by a business operating from home, including bed and breakfast accommodation, is commercial waste.  Such persons must arrange a commercial collection.

The HSE guidance recommends that no more than 25kg should be lifted by an individual at a time, to reduce the risk of injury. The onus is on customers to ensure they can lift and carry their own items from their vehicles and place them in the containers. Where appropriate, such as helping a customer with a disability, site staff will assess the load based on individual lifting capacity.


There are restrictions on certain types of vehicles that may enter HWRCs.  This is for health and safety and operational reasons. We also restrict access to commercial vehicles and trailers of a certain size to prevent unauthorised use by trade persons or businesses. We operate a van and trailer e-permit scheme.  For details, see policy statement 2.

Access to the HWRCs is not controlled other than the e-permit scheme.  We review access regularly to enable more efficient and robust control measures.  This will enable residents to use the HWRC safely and easily. An automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) vehicle registration system may be introduced.  This will  further enhance the restriction on trade and commercial abuse.

General access conditions

Pedestrian access is not permitted onto any of Lincolnshire HWRCs.

The opening hours of the HWRCs are listed in our find a recycling centre directory

Visitors are required to arrive at their chosen site before 3.50pm. The gates may be closed 10 minutes before the site's closing time. This ensures that those on the site have time to deposit their waste and can exit by closing time. Anyone arriving after the closing time will not be permitted entry.

Depositing waste outside the boundary of any HWRC site is fly-tipping. If we become aware of any such fly-tipping, we shall liaise with the relevant district council or other regulatory body that may bring enforcement action.

Visitors to the HWRCs must comply with the site rules and this policy. 

Types of waste

HWRCs are primarily for the re-use, recycling, composting and recovery and disposal of household waste.

There are no facilities for commercial waste recycling or disposal. Commercial and other non-household waste is not accepted at any of our HWRCs.

We only accept household waste of the type and amount associated with conventional production from a household.  This is in accordance with statutory guidance.

Site management staff will challenge anyone attempting to deposit large quantities of materials or items suspected to be commercial or non-household waste. Site staff may ask the depositor to complete a declaration of household waste form to confirm that the waste is from their own home. We may share this information with enforcement authorities.

If we have reasonable grounds to believe the depositor is operating in a business capacity or their waste is not household waste, that person may be:

  • refused access to deposit their waste in the household waste containers
  • given advice, or 
  • directed to leave the site

If the depositor refuses to complete a declaration of household waste form fully, we will not allow them to deposit the waste.

No unauthorised person is permitted to sort over or remove anything deposited at a HWRC site, either in a container or on the ground.

Sometimes further investigation or enforcement action is required.  We may share the information given on a declaration of household waste form (or any other relevant information taken on site) with:

  • waste collection authorities
  • Environment Agency
  • Police

A wide range of recyclable materials is collected at our HWRCs. Customers should:

  • separate out their waste
  • make full use of the re-use and recycling facilities
  • minimise the amount of residual waste deposited

We may refuse large quantities of unseparated recyclable materials.

Further information

We offer site visitors a range of information on various aspects of our policy and general recycling advice. Where appropriate, site staff will draw the visitors’ attention to the availability of such information.

Further information about HWRCs and re-use, recycling, composting, recovery and disposal is available on our recycling and waste pages.

Policy statement 1: maximising re-use, recycling, composting and recovery

Lincolnshire County Council (LCC) and our contractors are committed to seeking to maximise opportunities for re-use, recycling, composting and recovery at HWRCs by:

  • providing separate containers for a wide range of different materials
  • providing a re-use area where items for re-use can be placed
  • ensuring recycling containers and re-use areas will be kept clean, available and accessible at all times
  • providing clear signage showing which materials can be placed in each container to:
  • help customers to sort their waste 
  • ensure the correct material is placed in the correct container
  • site staff providing encouragement and advice about separating materials on site
  • providing information about recycling on our website 

To maximise recycling rates at HWRCs, we request that householders sort all waste into the correct containers for recycling on site. Pre-sorting materials before visiting the site will make visits easier, quicker and more effective.

Site staff may ask residents to open sacks or other receptacles during their visit.  This is to:

  • recycle as much as possible
  • ensure waste is deposited appropriately in accordance with legislation

Only waste that cannot be recycled elsewhere on site should be placed in the general non-recyclable waste container.

Residual waste collected in the general non-recyclable household waste container at the HWRCs is sent to the Lincolnshire energy recovery facility.  At this facility, it is incinerated to generate electricity.  We may use alternative disposal outlets to maintain the service when the facility is not operational.

Information on what is accepted in each waste container is available at the HWRCs.  The deposit of waste will be supervised by site staff.

Policy statement 2: e-permit scheme

Van and trailer e-permit scheme 

The vehicle permit scheme operates at the HWRC to:

  • control the illegal deposit of trade waste at the HWRCs 
  • help to manage the flow of traffic through the sites

You must register for a free permit to bring household waste to a HWRC in a:

  • commercial-type vehicle
  • van under 2 metres high
  • trailer between 1.8 metres long, 1.2 metres wide and 0.5 metres high to a maximum size of 3.6 metres long, 1.8 metres wide and 0.5 metres high

All vehicles must adhere to any declaration in a household waste form.

You can apply for an e-permit online.  When applying, you must accept to abide by this policy and the conditions on the application website.

The e-permit system brings significant benefits to customers and the council.  It improves the service offered to the customer and simplifies the operation and administration.

You will need to renew your e-permit annually.  We will send you an e-mail reminder when it is due.  E-permits will automatically expire unless they have been used during the 12-month entitlement period.

The e-permit applies to commercial-type vehicles or large trailer access to the HWRC.  It does not apply to the type of waste being carried. Site staff have the right to:

  • turn away a vehicle if it is suspected of carrying commercial waste
  • ask for a declaration of household waste form to be completed

Wastes brought on to site must comply with any other limitations or concessions, such as daily limits for soil or hardcore.

We will only approve one e-permit per address.  If you have more than one vehicle requiring an e-permit, you must decide which vehicle is most suitable. There is no distinction made between which householder drives the vehicle. We will remove multiple permits found for an individual address from the system.

We reserve the right to suspend or revoke a permit at our discretion. We may revoke any vehicle’s permit used to breach the rules and requirements of this policy.  This includes but is not limited to policy statement 2, policy statement 11 or any other council policy.

Vehicles that require an e-permit or not allowed due to size

The e-permit scheme will not affect most site users who use passenger cars to visit the sites.

HWRCs have vehicle size restrictions due to manoeuvrability and health and safety considerations. 

You should contact us if:

  • you have a modified or bespoke vehicle
  • it is not clear if an e-permit is needed
  • contact customer services if your only vehicle is a disability adapted vehicle over 2 metres in height

Table 1: Vehicles that do not require an e-permit

Vehicle type Restrictions
  • must be under 2 metres high
  • must be under 2 metres high
  • see table 2 for 4x4s that require a permit
People carriers and SUVs
  • all seats in-situ
  • must be under 2 metres high
  • up to and including 3.5 tonnes laden
  • all seats in-situ
  • must be under 2 metres high
  • no trailer
  • up to and including 3.5 tonnes laden
  • must be under 2 metres high
  • no trailer
Mobility vehicles over 2 metres high
  • professionally converted
  • up to and including 3.5 tonnes laden
  • no trailer
  • must make arrangements prior to the arrival on site by contacting us
Vehicle with a small trailer
  • must be under 2 metres high
  • trailer must be no larger than 1.8 metres long, 1.2 metres wide and 0.5 metres high

Other permitted vehicles are:

  • motorcycle
  • bicycle
  • quad bike
  • electric mobility scooter

Table 2: Vehicles that require an e-permit

Vehicle type Restrictions
  • must be under 2 metres high
  • must be no longer or larger than 5.8 metres
  • up to and including 3.5 tonnes laden
  • no trailer
4x4 pickup trucks with an open back or separate cab, closed rear side and only one row of seats
  • must be under 2 metres high
  • must be no longer or larger than 5.8 metres
  • up to and including 3.5 tonnes laden
  • no trailer
Vehicle with a large trailer
  • must be under 2 metres high
  • trailer must be no larger than 3.6 metres long, 1.8 metres wide and 0.5 metres high


Vehicles that are not allowed access

Any vehicle:

  • over 2 metres in height (other than those detailed in tables 1 and 2)
  • with a trailer over 3.6 metres long, 1.8 metres wide and 0.5 metres high
  • that contains commercial waste (see policy statement 5)

Other vehicles not allowed access are:

  • box and Luton vans
  • horse boxes
  • tractors

Hired vehicles

You may hire a vehicle to deposit household waste on these conditions:

  • it must be for a period of three days or less
  • you have an e-permit
  • you comply with the restrictions on vehicle size, weight, trailer length and operating of mechanical functions

The use of tipping mechanisms, tail lifts or ramps on site

You are not permitted to use ramps or tipping mechanisms on site. Any commercial-type vehicle or trailer which meets the size restrictions can use the site with an e-permit.  However, you cannot operate any mechanical function whilst on site.

Non-Lincolnshire residents

We only grant e-permits to Lincolnshire residential households.

Declaration of household waste forms

We will use declaration of household waste forms where site staff cannot distinguish whether the waste is from a commercial or domestic activity.  We will keep records in case any future enforcement action is needed.  We may share these records with:

  • district councils
  • Environment Agency
  • Police 

Procedure for taxis

Waste legislation states that as a waste producer, you have a duty of care to:

  • pass your waste to a suitably licensed carrier or 
  • take it to a permitted waste site

 You are classed as a waste producer when you take waste to a HWRC.

You can hire a taxi to take yourself and your waste to a HWRC.  You cannot pass the waste to a taxi driver to take it to any site (including HWRCs) without travelling in the taxi with the waste. 

A taxi is not a licensed waste carrier and you cannot legitimately pass them the waste.

Taxis can access HWRCs without an e-permit as long as:

  • they have the person who produced the waste (the householder who is paying the fare) in the vehicle with them
  • the vehicle complies with the criteria in table 1

We will turn taxis away if they do not have the waste producer with them.

If the taxi driver is taking waste from their own home, they must complete a declaration of household waste form on each visit.

We do not require e-permits for larger taxis adapted for disabled use and designed to carry people rather than goods. They need to follow the taxi guidelines, depending on if they have the waste producer with them.

Policy statement 3: disposal of waste by charities

Under the Controlled Waste Regulations, organisations (including charities) may be eligible to dispose of household-type waste at HWRCs. This may be subject to change in the future.

These organisations are still subject to the HWRC vehicle restrictions as set out in policy statement 2.  The charity will also need to apply for a charity permit before using the HWRC.

Use the online enquiry form to receive details on how to apply for a permit under this scheme.

Charities should also check with the Environment Agency to see if a Waste Carriers Licence is also required.

Policy statement 4: acceptance of discretionary wastes

The following waste is classified as industrial, not household waste:

  • waste that is generated through building or renovation work 
  • waste arising from preparatory works for such construction or demolition works
  • DIY waste

This term applies even if the waste is generated by the householder in their home. We do not have a duty to provide a free disposal point for such waste.

We will accept some waste from small home DIY projects. However, you must not exceed these limits: 

  • one bin of either soil, rubble or plasterboard or a combination of the materials equal to a single bin full. A bin is equal to 100 litres capacity or two 50 litre black bags
  • a single article of waste no larger than 2000mm x 750mm x 700mm
  • four single visits per household in any four week period 

Examples of this type of this discretionary waste include:

  • bath
  • toilet pan
  • cistern
  • kitchen worktop
  • shower door or shower tray
  • fence or shed panel
  • engine oil
  • water tank
  • standard door
  • kitchen unit (wall or floor)
  • plaster or plasterboard
  • radiator
  • fitted wardrobe or bedroom unit
  • gas cylinder
  • winder frame (no glass)
  • roofing felt and tiles
  • wash basin or kitchen sink
  • soil and rubble and other inert waste
  • guttering and drain pipe
  • sheet glass
  • fire extinguisher

Alternative disposal methods

Householders with large quantities of discretionary waste should consider alternative arrangements for disposal. Options may include:

  • hiring a skip or hippo bag
  • employing a licenced waste contractor
  • using a public weighbridge at a commercial waste disposal or recycling facility
  • enquiring whether their local waste collection authority provides a suitable collection service

You have a ‘duty of care’ with regard to the disposal of your waste. When arranging alternative disposal, you must make any necessary arrangements and cover the disposal costs.

Duty of care (householders)

If you arrange for someone to take away any of your waste, you are required to take reasonable steps to ensure that:

  • the person or company you are handing the waste to is legally authorised to take it
  • they transport the waste and dispose of it safely

For this, they need to be registered as a licensed waste carrier. You should check the Environment Agency’s list of registered waste carriers or call them on 08708 506 506. It is prudent to keep a record of the waste carrier’s details, including vehicle registration.

If your waste is fly-tipped and you did not check, you could be liable for a fine of up to £50,000, plus other costs.

Policy statement 5: commercial waste

Our HWRCs are for the re-use, recycling, composting, recovery and disposal of waste from Lincolnshire residents’ own homes.

All businesses and commercial operators are legally responsible for ensuring that business waste is stored, transported and disposed of without harming the environment. This is called a duty of care.

Our HWRC management contractors and site staff have a duty to challenge site users to establish the source of waste arriving at a HWRC. Where there is sufficient reason to believe that waste is from a commercial source, site staff may ask for a declaration of household waste form to be completed.  They may or may not allow that visitor to deposit their waste. The information supplied may be passed to the county council and district council enforcement officers for investigation.

Our site management contractors and operatives will not accept commercial waste at any HWRCs. 

Businesses and commercial operators must make their own arrangements for the collection or disposal of their waste.  This can be done through:

  • their local waste collection authority or
  • a legitimate waste management company

Find out your obligations and possible methods for dealing with your commercial waste.

Policy statement 6: hazardous waste (asbestos and engine oil)


Residents may dispose of up to 40kg per year of cement-bonded white asbestos (chrysotile) through our designated contractors. We will supply you with two bags to contain the asbestos.

Book a white asbestos disposal

Asbestos must be wrapped in accordance with HSE guidelines. The bags we supply comply with the guidance.

A summary of general advice and guidance is:

  • wear a dust mask approved for asbestos
  • wear disposable overalls and gloves
  • keep other people away from the working area
  • wet the material well with water containing a little washing up liquid - check that there is no potential for contact with electricity first
  • always remove whole sheets or component - do not break them up
  • double wrap all material in thick polythene (1,000 gauge) and seal
  • clean up all dust with a damp cloth and then seal it in a plastic bag whilst damp
  • do not use a domestic vacuum cleaner as dust may pass through the filter

(This is for guidance only and is not an exhaustive list. For further guidance on asbestos, see the HSE website

Before visiting a site to dispose of asbestos, you must have used the bags we supplied and fixed the tags to them.

At the disposal location, you must report to the site office and follow the directions of the site staff. You are responsible for removing the material from the vehicle and placing it in the skip. You must place the bags carefully in the skip and not throw them in. We can only accept asbestos material on sites if fits in the supplied bags.

You may use a contractor or tradesperson to remove the asbestos material.  It is the responsibility of that contractor or tradesperson to dispose of this correctly as commercial waste (see policy statement 5). Before hiring anyone to deal with asbestos, you should check that they have the necessary waste carriers licence from the Environment Agency. 

Contact us on 01522 782070 if you need further advice.

Engine oil

You should pour engine oil into the marked collection tanks at each HWRC. Oil containers should be deposited in the marked bins.

You should use containers no larger than 10 litres.  This is due to the weight and the manual handling required to pour the oil into the tank.

You can deposit a maximum of 10 litres of engine oil per month.

Policy statement 7: hazardous waste (chemicals and solvents)

All household chemicals brought to site must be in sealed, undamaged containers. If the chemical is not in the original container, you should clearly label the container according to their knowledge of the contents or product use. In these cases, you should ask site staff before depositing. This is to help maintain the health and safety requirements of the site and aid the contractors in managing materials appropriately.

You must make site staff aware of any materials that may be considered hazardous. Site staff will then direct you to the appropriate location for disposal.

We only accept chemicals in the quantities associated with typical use within the home.

We do not accept pharmaceuticals at HWRCs.  You should return them to a pharmacy for safe disposal. Veterinary supplies also cannot be accepted.  You should return them to a vet’s practice for safe disposal.

Ammunition and flares cannot be accepted at HWRCs. Please contact the following for these wastes:

  • ammunition - Lincolnshire police
  • flares – Coastguard or Lincolnshire police

Small household fire extinguishers can be accepted at HWRCs.  However, you should note the following points:

  • all empty extinguishers must have their handles taped together
  • full or part-full extinguishers must have a safety pin in place
  • CO2 extinguishers require a blanking cap if a swivel horn is not attached
  • extensively corroded extinguishers will not be accepted

Policy statement 8: gas bottles

Standard gas bottles (such as 15kg Calor gas bottles) remain the property of the gas bottle provider.  You should return them to a local supplier wherever possible.

Gas provided for medical reasons at home (such as oxygen) should be returned to the medical facility that provided them.

If you cannot source a local supplier, we will accept standard gas bottles at the HWRCs for re-use by the company that provided the cylinder. You must make site staff aware of any gas bottles they bring to a site. Site staff will then direct visitors to the appropriate location for disposal.

We do not accept gas bottles of any type (including helium, CO2 and LPG) in the general waste containers at the sites. Contents of the general waste containers are taken to an energy from waste site which cannot process gas bottles.

We will only accept helium canisters if the seal has been broken and the contents are fully discharged.

Policy statement 9: vehicle tyres

Our HWRCs do not accept vehicle tyres. Vehicle tyres are not defined as household waste.  We are, therefore, under no legal obligation to accept this material at our HWRCs.

We do accept single tyres from a bicycle only.  These can be placed in the residual waste container.

Policy statement 10: exchange of goods at sites

We support the principle of re-use.  We recognise that being able to use items again is a better option than recycling them.

For operational efficiency, the exchange or sale of goods on site between individual householders is not permitted.

Once goods are placed in the HWRC containers or collection areas, ownership passes to the council.  Where applicable, this includes our management contractors acting as our agents.

We encourage residents to consider whether their goods are in usable condition and, therefore, reusable before visiting HWRCs. Good quality and reusable goods can be:

  • directed to one of the many re-use organisations or charities 
  • traded or exchanged privately (but not on the HWRC sites)

The site contractors may salvage non-electrical materials for reuse and recycling.

We reserve the right to partner with charity organisations to introduce a reuse capacity at any site.  This facility can be withdrawn at any point.

Policy statement 11: site rules enforcement

Health and safety

The council and our site management contractors operate the HWRCs in accordance with:

  • health and safety law
  • contractors’ health and safety policy
  • operational rules

Visitors to any HWRC must comply with all health and safety requirements.  You must follow the directions of site staff in their application of site rules. If you fail to comply, we may refuse entry or direct you to leave the site immediately.

One of the main risks to the health and safety of visitors on sites arises from traffic movements. You must:

  • pay due care and attention
  • comply with speed limits
  • take care when manoeuvring a vehicle.

Whilst using the site, you should remain on any marked paths or walkways.  You must not under any circumstances cross parking bays or pass the rear of any containers that back into the open HGV movement area.

Visitors must follow all instructions from staff and displayed on information signs.

Anyone under the age of 16 years and all animals must remain in vehicles at all times whilst on site.

The public is not permitted to smoke in any area of a HWRC site. This includes whilst in or outside their vehicles.

Cars are parked at your own risk.

You should wear suitable footwear at all times. Gloves are strongly recommended for handling waste to prevent cuts and injuries.

Should you require assistance, you should alert a member of staff.  They will assist at their discretion as it depends upon the service needs.

Waste should be segregated and deposited in the correct container for re-use, recycling or disposal.

Verbal or physical abuse of staff is not acceptable and will not be tolerated. Visitors may be asked to moderate their behaviour or leave the site at the site manager’s discretion.

CCTV is installed, and site contractors and LCC staff at all HWRCs may use bodycams.  This is to help ensure the health and safety of all site users.

We may take further action in relation to any breach of either the site rules or this policy.  This includes:

  • reporting incidents to the police or local authority regulatory officers
  • revoking the e-permit for any relevant vehicle
  • banning abusers and the relevant vehicles from all of the HWRCs

We fully support our contractors in their management of the site.  This includes the waste being deposited and interactions with site visitors where site operators’ actions have been reasonable and in accordance with our policy.

Site operations

When a container is being manoeuvred, emptied or compacted we may ask customers not to:

  • enter the site
  • use a container

Site staff shall monitor and engage with incoming visitors.  Where appropriate, they will be proactive in advising waiting visitors of possible delays.  Patience is requested when health and safety requirements on site may cause delays.

Exceptional circumstances

A site shall only be closed in exceptional circumstances, such as:

  • severe weather
  • serious health and safety risks
  • formal investigations
  • emergencies
  • any other service disruption will be with the approval of the head of waste or a nominated deputy officer

Any closure shall be for as short a time as possible.  We will notify the public as soon as possible:

  • at the site
  • on our website
  • on social media channels 

All visitors shall comply with any conditions included within any such notifications.

Policy statement 12: offensive wastes

Examples of offensive wastes are:

  • animal faeces
  • animal bedding
  • animal litter
  • nappy waste
  • domestic type incontinence waste
  • feminine hygiene wastes

Offensive wastes generated from a business activity will not be accepted at a HWRC.  These businesses include:

  • kennels
  • catteries
  • nurseries or children day care centres
  • adult care homes

Waste from these businesses are classed as commercial waste. See policy statement 5, commercial waste for more details.

Excess household generated offensive waste that cannot be collected from kerbside bin collections can be brought to the HWRC.  We only allow small quantities of no more than 7kg per day.