In 2017, the government issued a regulatory position statement (RPS) mandating the segregation of hazardous and non-hazardous waste wood. Hazardous or treated waste wood is defined as any wood that has been preserved, varnished, coated, painted or exposed to chemicals detrimental to the environment. The RPS applies to businesses that produce, transport, process and manage wood waste.
Why the Need for Wood Waste Segregation
The government, through the Environment Agency, saw the need to segregate waste wood due to the country’s alarming waste wood production rates. The UK produces approximately 7.4 million tonnes of post-consumer waste wood every year – from the construction sector to DIY woodworkers. Additionally, the inappropriate use of wood waste has detrimental effects on the environment, specifically to soil and water quality.
Many businesses use waste wood in applications that can pose a risk to the environment and to human health – for example, composting and burning wood. Treated wood may contain arsenic, chromium and other chemicals that can cause pollution, contamination and serious illnesses.
The Environment Agency further explained that the absence of waste wood regulation also adds costs to the recycling process. In waste collection, recyclers have to make sure all the waste is free of impurities before undergoing the recycling process. Mixing hazardous waste wood with untreated scrap wood may also affect the integrity of the untreated wood.
The Legal Obligations of ‘Waste Wood Producers’
Businesses that produce waste wood now face greater responsibility to help protect the environment.
The RPS mandates that waste wood producers have a legal obligation to identify and segregate their waste wood before it is sent for waste collection or recycling. Businesses must also complete the paperwork for waste contractors as part of their waste management plan and corporate responsibility. Finally, businesses must partner with a waste management company that has the authorisation to process hazardous waste wood and the reliable means to execute such processes.
Waste Wood Management in Kent
LKM Recycling has years of experience in waste wood recycling and collection. We are aware of the importance of segregating waste to protect the environment. This is why we only accept certain types of scrap wood.
We take chipboards, plywood, pallets and wooden packaging, furniture and fencing. We also accept selected varieties of treated waste wood including paint and varnish. However, we do not accept hazardous treatments like Tanalith, creosote, chromated copper arsenate and other potential pollutants. We use cost-efficient and environmentally friendly methods in dealing with various types of recyclable waste.
Everything we do has an impact on the environment. Something as important as segregating harmful waste wood from untreated scrap wood can significantly reduce the detrimental effects of pollution and contamination to soil and water.
Entrust your waste wood recycling and waste management processes to us as part of your corporate responsibility to the community and to the environment. Gain a competitive edge by upholding sustainability across your operations.
Let’s discuss your waste management requirements. Get in touch with us today.