Wood disposal from construction projects

Mar 8, 2022Article

Wood disposal from construction projects

Mar 8, 2022Article

Construction companies are running the risk of large fines for not disposing of their waste wood correctly.

In the EU, over 450 million tonnes of construction and demolition (C&D) waste is generated every year.  In the 2016, 66.2 million tonnes of construction and demolition waste was generated in the UK alone.

Historically, many construction firms simply put all their mixed construction waste into skips and sent it off to landfill, via a waste handler. However now the UK government are opting for a greener approach and cracking down on the companies who do not segregate and dispose of their site waste correctly.

Malcolm Lythgo, Head of Waste Regulation at the Environment Agency, said:

“Failing to deal with construction and demolition waste properly could cause injuries or illness, increase fly-tipping and put your livelihood at risk.

“As England’s waste regulator, the Environment Agency will take action against people who don’t follow their duty of care and so harm people and the environment.

“I would strongly urge all builders to do the right thing and take full responsibility for their waste to limit disruption to the environment as much as possible. You should know who is taking your waste and where it is going.”

Failing to properly process waste from construction sites can result in fines of up to £50,000.  However many construction firms are finding it difficult to navigate the classification systems for C&D waste, in particular for waste wood.

Wood that is classed as hazardous, such as painted off cuts, fencing panels that have been treated or other contaminated woods from construction sites, should be separated out from virgin and other non-hazardous woods and disposed off at a licensed facility.

“One of the main challenges for the C&D sector is waste classification. I often come across situations where the contractors employed to carry out the groundworks are not aware of their obligations to classify the waste that they produce.

Says Mirela Andreescu, an Environment Officer at the Environment Agency.

“Everyone from the builder generating the waste, right through to the operator of the end destination site has a legal duty of care for that waste to ensure the right waste goes to the right place.

“Usually, misdescription of waste is linked to tax avoidance. This undermines legitimate business and it is damaging to the environment. Soil pollution can affect groundwater sources, drinking waters, surface waters and human health.

“Over the past 6 years we have increased our presence at C&D sites, organised days of action targeting waste producers, end destination sites and vehicles carrying waste on the road.

“We are working closely with partners and participate at road stops where we carry out checks on duty of care documents accompanying the waste, 

“Every builder and developer that does the right thing with their construction and demolition waste is helping to protect our environment for future generations. That’s more important now than ever before.”

Twinwoods Heat and Power is one of the few licensed facilities in the UK to be permitted to accept mixed waste wood loads.  This is recycled into clean, green, renewable  energy.

Alongside our sister company B & W Twinwoods is able to advise builders and construction companies on their waste responsibilities and requirements.

Contact us today to find out more.