Important Update on Wood Waste Handling Regulations

The Environment Agency (EA) has officially announced the discontinuation of ‘Regulatory Position Statement (RPS) 250,’ which is in effect from September 1, 2023. This decision is expected to bring about alterations in the regulations governing the management of waste wood within the construction and demolition (C&D) sector.

What’s changing?

‘RPS 250’ currently permits the transportation and processing of potentially dangerous waste wood materials from the construction and demolition (C&D) industry under the classification of non-hazardous. However, following extensive assessments conducted by the Wood Recyclers Association (WRA) to determine the hazardous content of these wood items, the Environment Agency (EA) has made the decision to discontinue ‘RPS 250’ effective from September 1, 2023.

Consequently, specific categories of waste wood that were previously directed to wood recycling facilities will now automatically be categorised as hazardous waste. These materials will be required to undergo proper disposal procedures at authorized facilities.

After the evaluation conducted by the WRA, an additional ten waste wood categories have been identified as hazardous, constituting less than 1% of the total wood waste generated in the UK.

It’s important to note that ongoing testing by the WRA may lead to the inclusion of further categories as hazardous materials in the future.

Which wood items are hazardous?

The following categories will be classified as hazardous from 1st September 2023 (typically from pre-2007 buildings), unless an analysis proves they are non-hazardous:

Without a test to prove they are not hazardous, these wood items will not be able to be sent to wood recyclers.

Waste wood items that are considered hazardous or potentially hazardous and originate from structures built before 2007 or are categorized as Grade D wood waste must be separated and clearly labelled as hazardous waste.