The WRA has sent its members a full brief outlining the key issues resulting from a recently published Regulatory Position Statement (RPS) from the Environment Agency, on the classification of waste wood from mixed waste wood sources.

The RPS continues to allow mixed waste wood to be coded and moved under a non-hazardous waste code as long as it only goes to two end uses – panel board and Chapter IV IED compliant boilers.

It has been developed by the EA and will remain in place until November 2018. It has been published to allow the Wood Recyclers’ Association (WRA) time to complete its Code of Practice, which will lay out strict guidance for how mixed waste wood should be assessed and handled at all stages of the waste wood supply chain.

Andy Hill, Chair of the WRA, said: “This RPS will mean some changes for wood recyclers and reprocessors and others handling waste wood as part of the supply chain, so we felt it was imperative we briefed our members as fully as possible to ensure they are aware of its requirements.

“The RPS follows a lot of work we have been doing with the EA and other key stakeholders and although it does herald changes, we are pleased the EA has given us time to look at their concerns fully so we can focus on the future testing required to reach an evidence-based, practical and risk-based solution.”

The need for a reclassification of waste wood has arisen following concerns raised in the UK about whether treated waste wood was being mis-described as untreated, clean grade A material and was ending up in non IED Chapter IV-compliant boilers.

This situation led to the WRA being asked by the EA to lead a waste wood industry group including waste management companies, manufacturers, other trade associations, local authority representatives and representation from the EA’s technical team, to come up with a solution to ensure that:

  • Waste wood is properly classified at the front-end
  • The people who process the wood further check and maintain that classification
  • Those taking the processed wood ensure they use suitable wood for particular end uses

The Regulatory Position Statement states that only clearly identifiable clean untreated waste wood is suitable for animal bedding or non-WID boilers, and mixed waste wood must only go to Chapter IV IED compliant boilers or panel board manufacturing. A  precautionary hazardous waste classification and associated consignment requirement will be applied to mixed waste wood loads in any other situation.

Waste wood currently recognised as hazardous, such as railway sleepers, telegraph poles and wood treated with creosote must continue to be segregated as hazardous waste wood and consigned as hazardous to appropriate facilities.

If you are a WRA member and have not received a copy of the brief by email please contact Julia Turner on


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