Van, pickup and trailer waste permit

Apply online for a free permit to use a van, pickup or single-axle trailer to dispose of your household waste.

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. It will help address congestion, out of county visitors and illegal commercial waste at our recycling centres. For health and safety reasons, all trailers will be banned from Bognor Regis, Littlehampton and Horsham centres.

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 - 2 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 (4 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 so that it is visible to all recycling centre staff. This will help staff distinguish between householders and businesses. If you forget your permit you will be unable 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 which 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 - if not we will post the permit to you at the address you provide within 10 working days .
Apply online for waste permit

5 Changing your permit details

The permit does not need to be renewed unless any of the following details change. Your:

  • vehicle
  • home address
  • email address. 

If any of these change 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.

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

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. The permit does not need to be renewed unless any details change, such as your vehicle, home address and email address. If any of your details do change you are required to apply for another permit online. 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.

Does the permit have to be a printed hard copy. I have a smartphone so can I not show you the confirmation email/permit instead?

All permits must be a hard copy and clearly displayed on the dashboard of the vehicle so that it is visible to all centre staff. The use of smartphones was considered, but it was felt that using these to display the information will take more time for staff to view the permit resulting in traffic congestion. In addition, there could be issues if the phone were left at home or was too low on battery to use, or if for whatever reason there was not an internet connection at the centre.

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, provided 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 trial. Information about which centres are taking part and full details of the trial are available on the Book to Recycle trial page.

What if I sell the van or trailer?

You can either destroy the permit or hand it in to 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) will be accepted at all sites with the exception of Littlehampton, Bognor and Horsham. Following a health and safety inspection at these centres and feedback from customers, it was 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. The 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 then they will be allowed to use all centres (except 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 and feedback from centres tell 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 seems sensible when implementing these changes that we look at all the root causes of the problems we are trying to address, which is why axles were factored in and this decision was made.

With regard to trailer usage, what does ‘unmodified’ mean?

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 is being introduced to try and combat the potential abuse of commercial waste being disposed of free of charge. In addition, a decision was 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 and must be taken to a waste transfer station where it will be weighed and charged for.

I have a company vehicle registered to the 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 the Proof of residency at Recycling Centres page.

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 post the permit to your home address. Please be aware that your permit could take up to 10 working days to reach 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 will be subject to the 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 bring your permit with you 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.
  • Permit holders must display the permit clearly and visibly in the dashboard of the vehicle.
  • Permits are valid at all RCs in West Sussex. The only exception being that no trailers will be 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 withdraw.
  • 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 (Viridor) has the authority to refuse use of the centre to anyone suspected of depositing commercial waste as household waste.
  • It is not acceptable to amend the permit yourself. Defacing or amending 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 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 T&Cs, and others 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 and 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 these T&Cs.
  • Only standard unmodified single axle trailers will be accepted at some centres (with a permit).
Last updated:
3 September 2021
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