The Wood Recyclers Association (WRA) has been given 11 months by the Environment Agency (EA) to come up with a code of practice to deal with potentially hazardous mixed wood waste.
The EA issued a regulatory position statement (RPS) on 28 November in response to industry concerns that proposed new rules on assessing mixed wood could have a “catastrophic effect”.
The EA is concerned that treated waste wood is being wrongly described as untreated.
The RPS allows mixed waste wood to be sent to suitable incinerators – those that are compliant under Chapter IV IED – or panel board manufacturing.
But after 1 November 2018 all unassessed waste wood must be classified as hazardous.
The EA said this would give time for the WRA to lead a waste wood industry group to deliver a code of practice which meets the legal requirements to assess and classify waste wood.
The code will give guidelines on front-end classification, checks to maintain that classification and suitable end uses.
WRA chair Andy Hill said: “We have been leading a number of industry-wide workshops focusing on the future testing required to reach an evidence-based, practical and risk-based solution to this issue.
“In the meantime, it has been agreed with the EA that the current situation can continue until November next year, while the waste wood industry group carries out further waste analysis and assessment to shape what happens in the future.”
In September, the EA indicated it would reconsider plans for a new waste wood assessment process.
The WRA and others wrote to the EA during August in response to the suggestion that mixed waste wood should be recorded at the front end of the wood recycling and recovery process.
The WRA is concerned that if the potentially hazardous properties of a mixed waste wood load cannot be properly assessed at the front end, the whole load would need to be classified as hazardous.