EA issues two new position statements on the storage of waste wood

26 JULY 2021

The storage and use of waste wood has been under review for a number of years with concerns that much of the wood might be hazardous from construction in particular.

The EA has now released two Regulatory Position Statements that allow the storage and processing of hazardous waste wood without the need for additional permitting.

RPS 249 allows HWRCs to accept any waste wood from householders (and presumably, therefore, not from trades people where HWRCs allow commercial waste) regardless of whether hazardous or non-hazardous on the basis that on a small amount is the latter. However, the EA states that this will be withdrawn by 1 April 2024 'to give the waste wood industry time to:

  • demonstrate to us, with an agreed sampling and testing programme, that hazardous waste wood in mixed household waste wood is no longer present
  • if hazardous waste wood is present, apply for a permit variation to handle hazardous waste wood'

 RPS 250 allows operators with an existing environmental permit to:

  • store hazardous waste wood at a waste transfer station
  • process and mix hazardous waste wood with non-hazardous waste wood at a wood processing site

This will be withdrawn by 1 Sept 2023 again, to give industry time as above.

The Wood Recycling Association has, at the same time, published guidance for assessing waste wood.