An interim measure to continue to allow wood recyclers to handle waste wood which might contain hazardous material has been published today (28 November) by the Environment Agency.
The measures comes in the form of a Regulatory Position Statement (RPS) and will be in place until 1 November 2018.
The RPS has been produced in the wake of a meeting in September 2017 (see letsrecycle.com story) at which complete loads of wood from civic amenity sites (HWRCs) might have to be classed as hazardous.
Then the Agency was suggesting that it might recommend that any item of treated waste wood, that has not been assessed appropriately, would have to be classified as hazardous waste. This was because of concerns that wood which had treatings or coatings containing chemicals might pose a threat to human health or the environment, particularly when used for biomass.
Now the regulator has said that the RPS will give the sector time to:
- deliver a code of practice which meets the legal requirements to assess and classify waste wood as approved by the Environment Agency
- implement compliance with that code of practice
This RPS, said the Environment Agency applies to business who:
- produce waste wood
- transport waste wood
- keep waste wood
- process waste wood
- control waste wood – if you are a dealer or broker
- use waste wood
- dispose of waste wood
And, the RPS explains: “It allows treated or mixed waste wood (including chipped waste wood and wood fines), which could be classified as hazardous or non-hazardous and has not been assessed and classified in line with the hazardous waste technical guidance, to continue to be classified as non-hazardous.
“For this RPS, treated waste wood is any waste wood, processed wood or wood fuel that contains, in any quantity, wood that’s been preserved, varnished, coated, painted or exposed to chemicals.
“If you follow the conditions in this RPS, you do not need to apply for a hazardous waste classification for treated or mixed waste wood.”
Businesses or local authorities which cannot comply with the conditions in this RPS, you must apply for a hazardous waste classification for treated or mixed waste wood, the Agency warns.
And it notes the waste wood must be destined for an Industrial Emissions Directive (IED) Chapter IV compliant permitted incinerator or co-incinerator, or to the manufacturer of board (which is a reference to the chipboard sector).
Importantly, the Agency notes that the RPS does not apply to waste wood that is known and is classified as hazardous, such as railway sleepers, telegraph poles and wood treated with creosote, and the wood must be segregated as hazardous and consigned as such.
Full details are available at: Gov.uk website