wood waste disposal

A Guide To The Wood Legislation Changes

19 October 2023

On the 1st of September, regulations changed around the disposal of wood waste. While this change might be insignificant for most people, for those in the construction industry it is likely to have impacted their disposal routines.

The new regulations relate to the way in which certain wood waste is handled and disposed of, as more of it will be classified as hazardous waste.

In this article, we will look at what the new regulations are and how this will impact you.

Why have there been these changes

Back in 2017, concerns were raised about the potential for mis-describing waste wood and confusion around which waste wood items were hazardous.

The changes ensure:

  • • Wood waste is classified at its origin – meaning that those who are tipping it must classify it first.
  • • Wood waste is not misdescribed – allowing for appropriate disposal and uses.
  • • There is a clear understanding of what is and isn't hazardous wood.

What are the changes?

The Environmental Agency is withdrawing the Regulatory Position Statement (RPS) 250, which allowed potentially hazardous wood waste to be disposed of and processed along with other non-hazardous wood.

The withdrawal of this statement means that some wood that was disposed of with "normal" wood, now has to be handled and disposed of as hazardous, unless tested and proof is available to show it is non-hazardous.

What waste is impacted?

Waste wood from a pre-2007 building will now automatically need to be classed as hazardous and will have to be handled and disposed of following hazardous wood guidelines.

Examples of wood that will now be classified as hazardous:

  • • Roof timbers & joists
  • • Roof tiling, cladding & battens
  • • Barge boards, fascias & soffits
  • • External doors & windows
  • • External joinery

These join the following wood examples that are already classified as hazardous:

  • • Telegraph poles
  • • Railway sleepers
  • • Engineering (e.g. docks)
  • • Wood from boats and ships
  • • CCA & Creosote treated wood
  • • Trailer beds
  • • Waste wood from Hydraulic

How does this impact you?

If you are working on a building that was constructed before 2007, you will need to treat any wood waste as hazardous waste.

If you want to dispose of it as non-hazardous, you will need to have it tested and provide evidence that it doesn't contain hazardous elements. If the tests prove this, then you are able to handle and dispose of it along with other non-hazardous wood (Grades A-C).

If you don't get the wood tested, then you must treat and dispose of it as hazardous waste. This means it must be kept separate from any non-hazardous waste, marked as hazardous and disposed of at a licensed facility.

Let us help

We are a reliable recycling and hazardous waste company, and we will ensure any hazardous wood is disposed of lawfully and responsibly.

If you are unsure, our friendly team are fully trained and knowledgeable, so are able to assist you in any way you might need. Give us a call on 01202 675564 or visit our site on Ling Road, Poole, BH12 4NZ.

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