Changes to Wood Waste Regulations
As of the 1st September 2023, significant changes to wood waste regulations have come into effect, marking a crucial milestone in environmental conservation and sustainable resource management. These updated regulations are designed to address the growing concerns surrounding wood waste and its impact on our environment.
This change is occurring due to the removal of Regulatory Positioning Statement (RPS) 250 by the Environment Agency, scheduled for August 31st, 2023. Previously, this statement permitted the transportation and processing of potentially hazardous wood waste items from construction and demolition waste streams as non-hazardous. Consequently, starting from September 1st 2023, specific items from buildings constructed before 2007 will be automatically categorised as hazardous, rendering them ineligible for disposal at wood recycling facilities.
In this blog post, we’ll explore recent changes in wood waste regulations and their impact on businesses and individuals. These changes are significant, affecting how we manage wood waste and comply with environmental standards. We’ll cover key regulatory updates, potential penalties for non-compliance, and practical tips for businesses and individuals to adapt to these changes. Join us on this journey to understand and navigate the evolving landscape of wood waste management.
1. Stricter Definitions and Categorisation
One of the most notable changes in the wood waste regulations is the stricter definition and categorisation of wood waste. Previously, there was some ambiguity in classifying what constitutes wood waste. However, the new regulations provide clearer guidelines for distinguishing between clean wood, treated wood, and hazardous wood waste.
Clean wood: This category includes untreated wood waste such as pallets, lumber, and sawdust. Under the new regulations, clean wood waste will have more streamlined disposal options, making it easier for businesses to manage.
Treated wood: Treated wood, often used in construction and landscaping, is subject to stricter disposal rules due to its potential environmental hazards. The regulations will impose more rigorous handling and disposal requirements for this type of wood waste.
Hazardous wood waste: This category encompasses wood treated with hazardous substances like heavy metals or creosote. These materials pose significant risks to the environment and public health. The regulations will introduce specialised disposal methods and monitoring for hazardous wood waste.
2. Enhanced Recycling and Reuse Initiatives
The new regulations emphasise the importance of recycling and reusing wood waste materials. Waste Experts will be encouraging our clients to explore alternative options such as chipping and shredding clean wood waste for mulch or energy production. This shift toward circular economy practices aims to reduce the overall volume of wood waste sent to landfills and incinerators.
3. Increased Penalties for Non-Compliance
Non-compliance with the new wood waste regulations will result in stricter penalties. Businesses and individuals failing to adhere to the guidelines may face fines, legal action, or limitations on their operations. These measures are intended to deter improper disposal practices and encourage compliance with the law. Waste Experts will be working with all our clients to ensure full compliance with the new standards.
How does this effect the industry?
From the 1st September 2023, the following 10 items will necessitate specialised hazardous waste disposal unless subjected to testing:
1. Barge boards
2. External fascia
3. Soffit boards
4. External joinery
5. External doors
6. Roof timber
7. Tiling cladding
8. Tiling battens
9. Timber frames
10. Timber joists
The responsibility will lie with the producers of wood waste to classify the waste correctly and in accordance with guidance set out by the Wood Recyclers Association (WRA) & National Federation of Demolition Contractors (NFDC), please follow the link below:- Link – https://woodrecyclers.org/wp-content/uploads/WRA-Demolition-Wood-Quick-Guide.pdf
How can Waste Experts help?
Should you wish to learn more about the alterations in wood waste classification and their impact on your business, feel free to contact us today. Our amiable team is ready to offer guidance and assist in devising the most suitable solution for your needs.