Changes to wood waste: Are you compliant?

Although accurate at the time of writing, the activities described in the article are now covered by the new Regulatory Position Statement: Storing and treating hazardous waste wood: RPS 291. Please check to ensure your activities are still covered.

Changes to the classification of 10 waste wood items has occurred from 1st September 2023 in the UK. The new classification of these products as hazardous and potentially hazardous waste will affect both producers of waste wood and recyclers.

Waste wood from demolition and refurbishment activities: Regulatory Position Statement 250

RPS 250 was withdrawn on 31st August 2023. The RPS allowed for operators with an existing environmental permit to:

  • store hazardous waste wood at a waste transfer station; and / or
  • process and mix hazardous waste wood with non-hazardous waste wood at a wood processing site.

Due to the potential impact to human health and the environment of processing and recycling potentially hazardous material, the Government have decided to remove this RPS.

The following ten wood items from buildings constructed before 2007 are now classified as hazardous waste.

  • Barge boards.
  • External fascia.
  • Soffit boards.
  • External joinery.
  • External doors.
  • Roof timber.
  • Tiling cladding.
  • Tiling battens.
  • Timber frames.
  • Timber joists.

Hazardous wood waste

If your organisation handles any of the 10 types of wood from pre-2007 buildings, they must be treated as hazardous waste when arranging recovery and disposal. An exemption to this is if the wood has undergone testing and is found to be non-hazardous.

Recycling and processing centres will now be required to have the correct licenses before accepting hazardous waste wood. There is a duty on organisations to check that the facility has the correct processes in place to accept their consignment.

The wood is now required to be moved using a consignment note (as is all hazardous waste) and one of the following EWC codes depending on which is applicable.

  • 17 02 04* – Glass, plastic and wood containing or contaminated with hazardous substances from construction and demolition wastes (including excavated soil from contaminated sites).
  • 19 12 06* – Wood containing hazardous substances from waste management facilities, off-site wastewater treatment facilities and the preparation of water intended for human consumption or industrial use.
  • 20 01 37* – Wood containing hazardous substances from municipal wastes.

All consignment notes must be retained by an organisation for 3 years.