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Waste Wood Changes to Regulation

Disposing of waste wood from older buildings?

From the 1 September 2023, the Environment Agency will withdraw regulatory position statement (RPS) 250 which applies to hazardous waste wood removed from domestic premises, demolition sites and other buildings built before 2007.

What is affected

Hazardous wood is any wood prior to 2007 that has been treated with creosote or other preservative, or paint including varnish or stain. According to the Wood Recyclers’ Association hazardous wood from this period accounts for less than 1% of all construction and demolition timber.

This statement effectively provided an exemption for wood processors and transfer stations to mix hazardous wood with non hazardous wood and to process them together. The purpose being to allow sufficient time for the industry to understand the quantities and types of hazardous waste wood arising from demolition and refurbishment activities and apply for a permit variation to accept hazardous waste wood if there was a market and business need.

This withdrawal means processors and recyclers of waste wood must revert to the current law and will change the way hazardous waste wood is both transferred and processed as it will fall under hazardous wase regulations.

Examples of this might include timber windows and doors, soffits, bargeboards, roof timbers and joists:


Pictures of various wooden house elements
Examples of timber from houses pre 2007

What this means for you

Only a very small fraction of wood is affected but if you are undertaking refurbishment or demolition work and disposing of waste wood from older buildings then you need to be aware of this. Hazardous waste disposal requires a different route and the hazardous wood cannot be mixed in with other general waste.  Hazardous wood will require its own container and hazardous waste incineration.

As you might imagine there are many fewer facilities available for the disposal of hazardous material as opposed to non hazardous wood.

If you believe that you may be impacted by this change in regulation do please get in touch with us at Red Kite Recycling and we can help you with your site waste plan. Managing construction waste is one of our services.

Telephone : 0333 8803358
Email : Jolyon.Roe@RedKiteRecycling.com

The End of Single Use Plastics

Changes are afoot

The relentless consumption of single-use plastics has triggered an environmental crisis, polluting our oceans, harming wildlife, and clogging landfills. The urgent need to transition away from this damaging cycle has led to the concept of a circular economy, a sustainable alternative that considers discarded materials as a resource rather than waste.

Embracing the principles of a circular economy marks a crucial turning point in our battle against plastic pollution. By reimagining the lifecycle of plastics, we can reduce our reliance on single-use items and instead promote the reuse, recycling, and repurposing of materials. This shift necessitates innovative designs, responsible production methods, and widespread adoption of eco-friendly alternatives.

Scotland was the first to introduce a ban on single use plastics on 1st June 2022, with  England and Wales set to comply from 1st Oct 2023. The legislation bans throw away stirrers, plates, cutlery, balloon sticks and polystyrene trays and cups.

How is the industry responding?

Businesses have been redesigning packaging to be more durable and reusable, while consumers have also changed their behaviour, choosing to provide their own reusable drinking cups and shopping bags, selecting products that adhere to circular economy principles.

The end of single-use plastics aligns with the larger goal of conserving resources and protecting the planet for future generations. By committing to a circular economy, we not only address the immediate plastic crisis but also cultivate a sustainable mindset that champions ingenuity, environmental stewardship, and a harmonious coexistence with nature.

Single-use plastics have become emblematic of the throwaway culture that has dominated modern societies. These conveniences come at a high cost if they are not returned to the circular economy and very few are. As a result, they might at best be incinerated and at worst accumulate in oceans, rivers, and landfills, endangering marine life and infiltrating the food chain. The urgency to address this issue has prompted a growing recognition of the need to eliminate single-use plastics.

Corporations and industries are pivotal players in this transition. By adopting eco-friendly practices, redesigning packaging, optimising supply chains, and collecting back used items such as coffee pod return schemes. Consumers, armed with greater awareness of the environmental consequences, are increasingly making conscious choices by supporting businesses that prioritise sustainable practices.

Changing consumer behaviour

Local communities and grassroots movements are driving change as well. Cleanup initiatives, educational campaigns, and advocacy for waste reduction are inspiring individuals to reduce their plastic footprint. Schools, NGOs, and community groups are raising awareness about the detrimental effects of plastic pollution, encouraging individuals to make eco-conscious decisions in their daily lives.

The end of single-use plastics signifies more than just a change in material consumption; it represents a cultural transformation toward a more responsible and conscious society. It is a testament to the collective power of individuals, governments, and businesses to align their efforts in pursuit of a healthier planet.

This is a very positive step towards changing the regard with which we hold for even the most lowly of materials that we use as we move closer to discarded materials being a resource rather than waste.

Red Kite Recycling provides recycling and waste management to companies with multiple sites and multiple waste streams, where there is complexity within their waste streams and we help return resources to industry. To see how we can help your business call us.

Telephone : 0333 8803358
Email : Jolyon.Roe@RedKiteRecycling.com