Wood recyclers should be given the opportunity to work under an exemption, believes secretary of the Wood Recyclers Association (WRA) Peter Butt.
Responding for the first time to the Environment Agency’s (EA) revised permits for wood recyclers (T6 regulations), which do not allow exempted wood recycling sites to process treated wood, Butt told MRW: “The EA is clearly trying to get the whole of the waste and recycling industries permitted. We agree that wherever possible it is best to operate under a permit. But this is not always possible.”
Treated wood is defined as material covered in paint or preservatives or any combined woods such as MDF. In short, it looks as though only clean wood can be processed under an exemption.
“Those exempt sites and all small businesses wishing to carry on processing this type of wood will need to apply for planning permission and not all of them will get it,” Butt added.
“Obtaining planning permission is expensive and compliance costs for permitted operations are much higher. Additionally, a wood recycler cannot handle untreated wood alone because they will go out of business. They should be given the opportunity to continue to work under an exemption. We’ve had some movement from the EA on other issues to do with the T6 exemptions so we’re hopeful.”
Butt also revealed that the wood quality protocol the WRA has been working on is not going as smoothly as expected. He said: “There have been some obstructions. The door is not shut but not as open as it once was.”