7 March 2018 by Steve Eminton

Waste wood suppliers ‘to bear cost’ of hazardous loads

waste wood

Wood from civic amenity sites has featured in discussions of hazardous material in loads

When wood recyclers receive supplies of mixed wood and find hazardous wood in it – such as creosoted fence panels – the supplier will have to bear the cost of dealing with it.

The firm line about suppliers meeting costs comes in a guide recently produced by the Wood Recyclers’ Association for its members.

But, the Association has assured local authorities that they do not need to be concerned about the contents of the guide as it simply formalises what is currently happening. There have been concerns about waste wood collected at civic amenity sites and that councils might have to get the public to put wood in different containers, in case some was hazardous.

Last year, however, the Environment Agency issued a  Regulatory Position Statement on waste wood which gave some breathing space for councils while the matter was worked on.

Guidance document

The guidance document for wood recyclers and reprocessors, said the WRA, has been produced “on the back of the on-going work of a waste wood industry group, led by the association,” which is “currently focused on ensuring that waste wood is classified properly at the front end and is processed into appropriate end uses”.

The project looking at the classification of waste wood began in late 2017 after the Environment Agency expressed concerns about whether hazardous waste wood was being mis-described as untreated, clean grade A material and ending up in non IED Chapter IV-compliant boilers, said the Association.

Julia Turner

WRA chief executive Julia Turner, who has spoken of the need to understand how to consign hazardous materials

The association added that “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. This applies to other hazardous materials such as gas bottles etc.”


Julia Turner, executive director of the WRA, said it is crucial wood recyclers and reprocessors have a clear understanding of how to consign all hazardous materials arriving on site.

“Although reprocessors have been removing and returning any hazardous waste they find, the difference now is the reporting method,” said Mrs Turner. “This guidance will ensure that our members report hazardous materials in a consistent and transparent way, which will help to build evidence for our on-going work on waste wood classification.

“The guidance has been issued to all our members and we hope they will be compliant by 1st April 2018.”

The guide says that loads will be inspected when they are tipped and hazardous material should be removed, weighed, recorded and reported. Then the supplier, at their own cost and while the driver is still on site, must decide what to do next.

Actions, said the WRA, are:

  • Return it on delivery vehicle to supplier or alternative site immediately or
  • Collect it and return it to supplier or alternative site within 24 hours or
  • Ask the reprocessor to dispose, raise paperwork and charge supplier.

The guidance, among other points, says a consignment note needs to be raised by the supplier to confirm the action and must be seen by the reprocessor.

The association hopes that all its members will soon adopt the guidance.

Related links
Wood Recyclers’ Association


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