Wood Recyclers Comments On EA’s Mixed Waste Wood Statement

The Environment Agency (EA) has today issued a Regulatory Position Statement (RPS) which will continue 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.

The Wood Recyclers Association (WRA) says that the RPS – developed by the EA and to remain in place until November 2018 – has been published to allow it 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.

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

Andy Hill (pictured), Chair of the WRA, said: “We have been leading a number of industry-wide workshops focusing on the future testing required to reach an evidence-based, practical and risk-based solution to this issue.

“In the meantime it has been agreed with the EA that the current situation can continue until November next year, while the waste wood industry group carries out further waste analysis and assessment to shape what happens in the future.”

The Regulatory Position Statement states that clearly identifiable clean untreated waste wood is only 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.

The Wood Recyclers’ Association is preparing a brief for its members regarding the RPS and will be updating delegates at its quarterly meeting next week.


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