Wood waste recycling regulations have changed

Top level and roof of timber house, under construction, with scaffolding. Light brown wood against green hills and pale blue sky.

The Environment Agency (EA) has confirmed the withdrawal of the Regulatory Position Statement (RPS) 250, which allowed ‘potentially hazardous’ waste wood and ‘non-hazardous’ waste wood to be received at Waste Transfer Stations, before being processed and sent mixed for recovery.

This means, from 1 September 2023, ‘potentially hazardous’ waste wood is now deemed ‘hazardous’ unless shown otherwise through testing.

The EA has identified 10 items from pre-2007 buildings that are considered to be potentially hazardous:

  • Barge boards
  • Facias
  • Soffits
  • Wooden windows
  • Conservatories and doors
  • Roofing timbers
  • Tiling/cladding battens
  • Timber frames/joists.

The Wood Recyclers’ Association can help recyclers test these items to determine whether they are hazardous or not.

The WRA has produced two separate guides to help the industry understand these changes. Both documents detail specific end use applications and the potential for hazardous wood waste, and can be viewed online here:

Waste Wood Assessment Guidance for the UK Waste Wood Industry

Waste Wood Assessment Guidance for the Construction and Demolition Sectors