HWRC permit system for vans in Greater Manchester

The Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) has urged residents to apply for a free permit if they use a van, pickup or twin axle trailer at household waste and recycling centres (HWRCs).  

Residents using a van or pickup or twin axle trailer will need a permit from 1 December

From 1 December, anyone wishing to use one of these vehicles to take domestic waste or recycling to a recycling centre will need to show a permit that proves they are not depositing trade waste. Cars will not be affected by the new scheme.

The new permit will allow a maximum of 18 visits over the year to dispose of household waste using one of these vehicles.

Permits will also be required if using a short-term hire van, pickup truck or twin axle trailer.

Trade waste

Cllr Neil Emmott, Greater Manchester’s green city-region lead, said: “The new permit system being introduced across Greater Manchester is designed to prevent the illegal disposal of trade waste at our HWRCs. This has the added benefit of helping to increase recycling rates, because the materials being disposed of are not contaminated by waste that should have gone to a licensed facility.

“The illegal disposal of trade waste is estimated to cost local authorities around £5 million a year in unpaid fees. This new system will help us make sure that our recycling centres are able to serve residents making genuine trips – not people seeking to sidestep the rules.”

“This is the next step in driving down trade abuse across the recycling centres”

  • John Wrigley, regional director for Suez


The GMCA explained that the 20 HWRCs across Greater Manchester are paid for by council taxes and managed by Suez, and are for household waste that cannot go into recycling bins at home. Any trade or business waste is chargeable and must be disposed of at a licensed trade waste facility, either by setting up a business waste contract or by hiring a skip.

Vans at recycling centres will need a permit under the new system from next month (Picture: Shutterstock)

Applicants must be a resident of Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, or Trafford. Once the application has been approved, a QR code will be provided that must be shown at the entrance to the recycling centre.

The current system uses a combination of automatic number plate recognition technology and CCTV to monitor suspected traders using any of the 20 centres.

Limits on the number of visits that residents can make remain in operation. Residents using standard cars are able to make 52 visits a year, while vans, pick-ups and double-axle trailers can make 18 visits a year.

John Wrigley, regional director for Suez, said: “This is the next step in driving down trade abuse across the recycling centres. The scheme will make the process much simpler and easier for both residents and our staff, enabling us to increase our recycling performance, with residents using the sites to dispose of their household waste.”

In addition to the permit scheme, other improvements made in recent months include new recycling containers for mattresses and carpets, and new donation containers where residents can donate household items such as furniture, bric-a-brac, books, games and toys that are suitable to be reused.


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