The WRA is urging skip operators and transfer stations to read its Waste Wood Classification Guidance to ensure they are up to speed with their legal obligations and understand what they are supposed to do regarding the transfer of waste wood.

Julia Turner, Executive Director of the WRA, said: “We know a lot of waste wood is handled by skip operators and waste transfer stations so it is really important that these operators also understand what the new regulations are in each of the UK’s four nations, following completion of the WRA-led Waste Wood Classification Project.

“For these operators it is particularly complex because they could receive waste wood from either the household waste recycling stream or the demolition sector, and the requirements for both differ slightly.”

In England the Environment Agency published two new Regulatory Position Statements (RPS) which came into force on August 1st for anyone handling waste wood. The RPSs  mean that mixed loads of waste wood in England can continue to be processed by operators for use in panel board manufacturing and Industrial Emissions Directive (IED) Chapter IV compliant biomass boilers.

The two RPSs are as follows:

RPS 249: This allows potentially hazardous waste wood received at household waste recycling centres (HWRCs) to move as un-assessed, non-hazardous material as long as it is destined for Industrial Emissions Directive (IED) Chapter IV compliant biomass or the manufacture of panel board.  

This RPS will remain in place until the end of March 2024 to give the waste wood industry time to demonstrate that there is no longer any hazardous content in household waste wood. This is already diminishing and is not expected to exist at all by the time the RPS expires.

RPS 250: This covers hazardous waste wood from demolition and refurbishment activities. This now requires all waste wood from construction and demolition sites to be assessed, and where deemed hazardous, consigned as hazardous waste using a hazardous waste consignment note with the correct waste codes. However it also allows for the collection, storage, processing and blending of potentially hazardous waste wood from domestic premises, demolition sites and other business premises, to be carried out under existing environmental permits. 

This RPS will remain in place until the end of August 2023.

The Scottish regulator, SEPA, has introduced its own regulatory position, which follows the same principles as the English RPSs but doesn’t require segregation or testing by demolition contractors. In Wales, NRW has followed the Scottish position, allowing mixed waste wood to move as un-assessed, non hazardous wood to the approved end uses and without segregation or testing by demolition contractors being necessary. Northern Ireland have yet to confirm their position.

The WRA’s new guidance document can be downloaded from this website: We also have a set of Frequently Asked Questions which it is updated regularly and os available here.


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