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Legality of disposing wood shavings & dust

A question and answers thread

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Sparky17/12/2009 00:16:59
7631 forum posts
22 photos
Our forum member Steve Hall has kindly agreed to answer the questions of disposing wood shavings & wood dust.
Being in waste management, Steve has given some interesting details of the legality of refuse.
Hobbyist waste and trade waste have different rules and regulations for disposal. Leaving your waste out for the bin men or taking it to your local tip can be breaking the laws. If in doubt.......ASK.
Please leave your questions below and Steve will give his best to answer them.
Thank you
Sparky17/12/2009 00:34:24
7631 forum posts
22 photos
A topic had already started on this subject so, if you care to read through you may think of something to add to this list.
steve h17/12/2009 11:23:18
403 forum posts
128 photos

I thought I would start the posting, explaining about the European Waste Catalogue (EWC) and its respective codes.

 This was set out to identify processes & its wastes for manufacturers and suppliers and users to identify waste streams, to ensure they are handled, treated or disposed of correctly.

 This is then used with a ‘Duty of Care’ document, utilising the many hundreds of codes found within the EWC, correctly identify each waste for each subsequent stage from collection to disposal

 The issue is sometimes, that you have to go 'that extra mile' to ensure that you have identified your waste correctly, this can be done in the majority of cases by downloading the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) from the manufacturers web site, which shows any risk and hazard codes and to assist with treatment or disposal.

 There are effectively three entries, the black coloured entries are non hazardous, so require no special treatment, the red entries are absolutely hazardous and will always require special handling & the third - the most difficult, is when there are 'threshold' concentration levels which may then make it either safe or hazardous.

 Below is an excerpt from the EWC, covering 'Waste from wood processing and the production of panels & furniture.




03 01 wastes from wood processing and the production of panels and furniture

03 01 01 waste bark and cork

03 01 04* sawdust, shavings, cuttings, wood, particle board and veneer containing dangerous substances M

03 01 05 sawdust, shavings, cuttings, wood, particle board and veneer other than those mentioned in 03 01 04

03 01 99 wastes not otherwise specified

03 02 wastes from wood preservation

03 02 01* non-halogenated organic wood preservatives A

03 02 02* organochlorinated wood preservatives A

03 02 03* organometallic wood preservatives A

03 02 04* inorganic wood preservatives A

03 02 05* other wood preservatives containing dangerous substances M

03 02 99 wood preservatives not otherwise specified

03 03 wastes from pulp, paper and cardboard production and processing

03 03 01 waste bark and wood

03 03 02 green liquor sludge (from recovery of cooking liquor)

03 03 05 de-inking sludge’s from paper recycling

03 03 07 mechanically separated rejects from pulping of waste paper and cardboard

03 03 08 wastes from sorting of paper and cardboard destined for recycling

03 03 09 lime mud waste

03 03 10 fibre rejects, fibre-, filler- and coating-sludges from mechanical separation

03 03 11 sludges from on-site effluent treatment other than those mentioned in 03 03 10

03 03 99 wastes not otherwise specified

 The full version of the EWC can be downloaded <<here>>

 Again, for the business producer, if you have concerns that you are not treating or handling your waste correctly, do get in touch with a local or national waste service provider, they can often take mixed hazardous waste streams in the same box, making life much easier for the waste producer – even down to your fluorescent light tubes!

Sparky17/12/2009 20:12:20
7631 forum posts
22 photos
Steve, thats great, thanks for this.
Sparky17/12/2009 22:12:09
7631 forum posts
22 photos
MDF – Versatile and Safe.

steve h18/12/2009 12:05:53
403 forum posts
128 photos
Ok, now let's cover burning your wood waste & I strongly recommend that hobbyists read this as well, although it is directed at businesses - householders can still be prosecuted as well for burning waste, that should not be burnt!
The burning of any waste is a regulated activity requiring authorisation from the EA or Local Authority. Disposal of wood waste by burning is usually illegal under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. However, the Environmental Permitting Regulations 2007 provide exemptions that allow wood waste to be burned as a recovery activity (i.e. recovering heat/energy by burning) using waste imported onto site or disposal at the site where the waste is produced.
The following exemptions allow specific activities, details of which can be found using the links below:  These are fairly straight forward to follow and reasonably easy to understand.
Paragraph 5 <HERE>
Paragraph 29 <HERE>
Paragraph 30 <HERE>
I think the para 29 would be most appropriate for the burning to be exempt from the Waste Incineration Directive, the types of waste that can be burned are quite specific. Most treated woods can only be burned under and in accordance with a permit, which would be an expensive option for what appears to be fairly small scale operations. The legislation is very stringent in relation to waste wood burning due to the risk of harm from halogenated organic compounds and heavy metals found in preservatives and paints etc.

If any of the exemptions above are appropriate then all it takes is the submission of the notification form free of charge. Please be aware it would be for the operator to demonstrate their activity fits the rules of the exemption.

Hopes this helps? 


bob kettle18/12/2009 12:50:35
1 forum posts
Could I respectfully point out that for any hobby woodworkers who also attend their garden, that sawdust and shavings (assuming free from chemicals) are an excellent ingredient for the compost heap.
Regards, Bob the Builder
Robert Hopkins18/01/2010 20:30:45
3 forum posts
I only work with (untreated) seasoned oak, all the shavings and dust collected by my extractors go to a local stable for bedding, in return I get free manure.

Sparky18/01/2010 22:01:03
7631 forum posts
22 photos
Hi Bob and welcome to this site's forum.
Being new, you may have missed the post that started all of this off. We have had point raised quite a few times for the hobbyist that doesn't have bags and bags full of waste. The garden is a great way of cleaning up your shavings.
This main topic is for the extreme hobbyist/armature/professional that goes through at least 2+ full bin bags of waste that gets left out for the binmen to collect every week.
Why not fill in your profile and tell us a bit about yourself and the projects you've made or planing in the could even upload some photographs of your work into your albums.
If you need help, click on the link >> here << and choose the 'How to'.
If you need any help, please just ask.
Hi Robert
Welcome to you also. 
Sounds like you also have a great deal going on there......... I bet your roses are fabulous in the summer!
Again it sounds like you have made a few items, why not tell us about them by filling in your profile and upload your photos to your album.

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