Van, pickup and trailer waste permit

Apply to dispose of your household waste using a commercial vehicle.

1 Overview

If you are a West Sussex resident you can apply for a free permit that entitles you to use a van, pickup or single axle trailer to dispose of your household waste.

The permit allows those that drive a commercial-type vehicle to use it to dispose of their household waste.

Businesses still need to use the waste transfer stations and pay to dispose of their business waste.

The permit scheme has been introduced at all 11 West Sussex Recycling Centres and the two mobile centres to help address congestion, out of county visitors and illegal commercial waste.

Be aware that trailers are banned from Bognor Regis, Littlehampton and Horsham centres for health and safety reasons.

Permits are issued per qualifying vehicle.

2 When a permit is needed

Vehicles that require a permit

  • Commercial-type vehicles (vans and pick-ups) with one or more of the following features:
    • No rear windows
    • No rear side windows and/or panels in place of rear side windows
    • No rear seats
    • An open back or any flat back vehicle, with or without a cover
    • A back which is separate to the main cab, such as a closed cab pick-up
    • A single cab pick-up with either two or four seats.
  • Single axle trailers - two wheels (any size but must not be modified).

Vehicles that do not require a permit

Cars and 4x4s do not require a permit to access the Recycling Centres.

If you hire a van or pickup for seven days or less to dispose of your own household waste you do not require a permit. However, proof you live in West Sussex (driving licence or utility bill) and the hire vehicle documentation will be required.

Vehicles that are not permitted access to a Recycling Centre

Vans over 2.2 metres high must use Burgess Hill, Crawley, Westhampnett and Worthing sites only.

  • Luton type vans
  • Horseboxes
  • Twin axle trailer (four wheels)
  • Tipper trucks/flatbeds/dropsides.

Note: Vehicles have a gross weight restriction of 3.5 tonnes at all centres.

3 How to use the permit

Your permit must be clearly displayed on the dashboard, or it can be shown to staff on your smartphone. If you are unable to show your permit, you will not be able to dispose of your waste.

Staff may ask to see photographic identification, usually your driving licence, to provide proof of residency in West Sussex.

Please note that a permit provides permission to enter the centre only and is not a permit to deposit waste. This is subject to the centre user guidelines, and any waste restrictions apply. Household construction and demolition waste is restricted to 200kg per visit.

Depending on the frequency of visits and the type of waste being deposited, permit holders may be asked to complete a disclaimer form to confirm that the waste is from your own household and is not trade waste. 

4 Apply for a permit

Before applying for a van, pickup and trailer permit you are required to read our terms and conditions.

During the application you will need to confirm you:

  • accept the terms and conditions of the permit
  • live in West Sussex
  • have access to a printer to print the permit, or display using a mobile device.
Apply online for waste permit (external link)

5 Changing your permit details

The permit does not need to be renewed unless you change your:

  • vehicle
  • home address
  • email address. 

In these cases you must apply for another permit. Before any changes are accepted, you will need to accept our terms and conditions.

You will not be able to use the Recycling Centre until you have received your updated permit.

6 Replace a lost permit

If you lose your permit you will need to apply for a new one.

You will not be able to use our Recycling Centres until you have received your new permit.

7 Frequently asked questions

Do I need to renew my permit?

No. You do not need to renew your permit unless you change your vehicle, home address or email address. In these cases you are required to apply for another permit. Before any changes will be accepted, you will need to accept our terms and conditions.

Note: You will not be able to use the Recycling Centre until you have received your updated permit.

Are the number of visits to Recycling Centres restricted under the permit scheme?

The permit does not restrict your normal use of our Recycling Centres to dispose of your household waste if you display your permit and possess the required identification. You will need to book an appointment to visit if you want to dispose of your waste at sites participating in the Book to Recycle service. Information about which centres require booking are available on the Book to Recycle page.

What if I sell my van or trailer?

You can either destroy the permit or hand it in at any Recycling Centre. Please do not transfer the permit when you sell the van/trailer. The new owner will need to apply if they are a West Sussex resident and wish to use our centres.

Can I use my trailer at all centres?

No. Trailers (single axle only) are not accepted at Littlehampton, Bognor and Horsham. Following a health and safety inspection at these centres and feedback from customers, we ascertained that they have insufficient space to safely continue to let these vehicles have access. Other centres, for example, Worthing and Chichester, are much better equipped for the use of single axle trailers.

Are trailer dimensions a restriction under the permit scheme?

No. Trailer criteria is based only on the number of axles and does not relate in any way to the dimensions of the trailer. There is also no restriction on the combined length of a vehicle and trailer. As long as all trailers are single axle with only two wheels and have a permit they are allowed to use any centre but Littlehampton, Bognor and Horsham.

Why are twin or multi-axle trailers excluded under the new measures at all Recycling Centres?

Congestion is often caused by large capacity vehicles depositing large loads. Feedback from centres tells us that vehicles equipped to carry very heavy loads can also have an effect on queuing times and safety issues. A single axle trailer might for example take a load of up to 750kg while a double axle trailer of the same dimensions can carry double that. It seemed sensible when implementing these changes that we looked at all the root causes of the problems we were trying to address, which is why axles were factored in and we made this decision.

What does ‘unmodified’ mean with regard to trailer usage?

An unmodified trailer is a standard unit that has not been altered and does not have extra boarding to increase the height or length.

Why are Luton vans, horseboxes, tippers and twin axle trailers banned from the sites?

These are often the type of vehicles that traders use and the permit scheme has been introduced to try and combat the potential abuse of commercial waste being disposed of free of charge. The decision was also made on the grounds of health, safety and welfare to customers and staff.

I have hired a man and van to get rid of my waste - can he have a permit?

No. As soon as you give your waste to someone else and pay for them to take it away it becomes commercial waste. This must be taken to a waste transfer station where it will be weighed and charged for.

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

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

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 your vehicle can only be used to bring in your household waste. If the origin of the waste is in doubt you will be asked to complete a disclaimer form. All commercial waste must be disposed of at one of our waste transfer stations to be weighed and charged for.

I don't have a photographic driving licence, what do I do?

See information about acceptable forms of identification on Proof of residency at recycling centres.

How can I apply for a permit if I don't have internet access?

The quickest and easiest way to apply for a permit is to do it online. If you are unable to apply online, please phone 01243 642106. An advisor will complete the application form on your behalf and the permit will be emailed to you.

8 Terms and conditions

  • A permit provides permission to enter the Recycling Centre (RC) only and is not a permit to deposit waste, which is subject to site user guidelines. Depending on the frequency of visits and/or type of waste being deposited, permit holders may be asked to complete a disclaimer form to confirm that the waste is from a household source and is not being carried for profit.
  • You must show your permit each time you attend a centre with your van, pickup or trailer or access will be denied.
  • You must bring photographic proof of residency in West Sussex (driving licence) with you as you may be asked to show it. Failure to produce proof of residency if asked will result in access being denied.
  • Permits are valid at all RCs in West Sussex. The only exception being that no trailers are allowed access to Horsham, Littlehampton and Bognor Regis RCs, even with a permit.
  • Any abuse to site staff will not be tolerated and will result in your permit being withdrawn.
  • Use of this permit scheme is solely for West Sussex residents with a residential address within the county.
  • Failure to comply with the centre operator’s compliance checks may result in the withdrawal of your permit.
  • The centre operator (Biffa) has the authority to refuse use of the centre to anyone suspected of depositing commercial waste as household waste.
  • This permit does not allow Luton vans, horse boxes, twin-axle trailers, tipper trucks, flatbeds or drop-sided vehicles to use the RC's.
  • It is not acceptable to amend the permit yourself. Defacing or amending it will invalidate the permit.
  • West Sussex County Council (WSCC) reserves the right to cancel permits or amend the operation of the RC permit scheme at any time.
  • WSCC reserves the right to make further enquiries about 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.
  • Terms and conditions (T&Cs) relating to use of Recycling Centres and other waste services may be changed at any time without prior warning.
  • On entering any RC your vehicle registration number plate will be recorded by our automatic number plate recognition system (ANPR) and closed circuit TV (CCTV) cameras. These are in operation on all RCs. Your data will only be used by WSCC for the purposes of monitoring centre usage.
  • Your data may be shared with local authority officers and other governmental organisations within West Sussex for purposes of the prevention and detection of environmental crime. We will only share your data in order to meet these statutory obligations where we are legally required to in order to ensure compliance with the terms of use of our user guidelines.
  • All permits remain the property of WSCC and will be withdrawn if T&Cs are breached.
  • By using the permit scheme you accept the T&Cs.
  • Only standard, unmodified single axle trailers with a permit will be accepted at some centres.
Last updated:
17 January 2024
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