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Law Changes Classify More Waste Wood as Hazardous

Following a change in the law, if you work in construction and demolition and handle your own wood waste, you will need to be much more vigilant about what types of wood waste you are producing and where it ends up. Certain classifications of wood which could have previously been recycled will now be classified as Grade D, i.e. hazardous, and must be disposed of accordingly.

This latest legislation came into effect on 1st September. The Environment Agency has provided a comprehensive list of the types of wood that must now be kept separate from other wood waste.

This list is made up of wooden building materials used on houses before 2007:

  • Barge boards
  • External fascia
  • Soffit boards
  • External joinery (used in wooden windows and conservatories, for example)
  • External doors
  • Roof timber
  • Tiling cladding
  • Tiling battens
  • Timber frames
  • Timber joists

More information about the changes in law is available here.

Willshee’s has a dedicated, specialist team for dealing with hazardous waste to give customers complete peace of mind that their wood refuse is being dealt with professionally and with a compliant, transparent audit trail. To discuss the implications of the legislative changes and/or find out more about our specialist hazardous waste services, you can get in touch at sales@willshees.co.uk or call 01283 702 340.

Willshee’s managing director Dean Willshee says:

“This latest legislation means that many more wood products are now classified as hazardous waste and so their disposal needs to be handled with increasing care and following much more stringent, mandatory guidelines. Here at Willshee’s, we have a long, strong track record in dealing with hazardous waste and provide a very detailed, compliant audit trail – supported by all the necessary documentation. A number of customers are already benefitting from our highly qualified team of experts who are helping them take on board the new requirements into their respective businesses.”

Wood Categories

Grade A: This is clean and untouched wood. Think landscaping trimmings, wood pallets from shipping, and leftover bits from making untreated wood products. This wood can be easily turned into animal bedding, mulch, paper, and even new wood products like furniture and flooring.

Grade B: This wood comes from construction sites and demolition zones, like old window frames. This wood is good for making panel boards or even use it as biomass fuel.

Grade C: Wood that’s been mixed with plastic, metal, or treated with non-hazardous chemicals. It can be used to make wood pellets or chips for burning and generating energy.

Grade D: This is wood that’s been treated with chemicals that make it a hazard or potential hazard. If it has a strong smell or looks especially dark, it’s probably in this category.

The list below shows the waste wood that is already classed as hazardous and continues to be prohibited from general collections.

  • Railway sleepers
  • Telegraph poles
  • Agricultural fencing
  • Waste wood from hydraulic engineering
  • Waste wood from docks
  • Waste wood from industrial applications
  • Cooling tower timbers, wood block flooring or moulds
  • Waste wood from boats
  • Waste wood from carriages
  • Waste wood from trailer beds
  • Waste wood treated with creosote

Hazardous and potentially hazardous wood, which falls under the Grade D classification, must be handled with care by a licensed waste management professional.


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