All excavated waste must be classified from 31st January 2021
The Environment Agency (EA) will require all arising from unplanned utilities and repair works to be treated as hazardous waste unless classified otherwise.
EA Regulatory Position Statement RPS 211, (October 2020) states that the current derogation to classify such wastes as non-hazardous (subject to certain conditions) will be withdrawn on 31st January 2021.
Implications for the Industry
The withdrawal of (RPS) 211 means that unless an accurate classification of excavations from utilities installation and repair is carried out to an EA approved protocol, all waste must be classified as hazardous. The transport and disposal route for such wastes is costly on both management time and treatment.
Excavation from utility operations can involve penetration through several different strata (asphalt, sub base, natural ground) each individually contaminated. Also contamination can vary according to site history.
Next Steps for Compliance
Classification of waste requires detailed analytical determination of expected contaminants and then assessment of the results according to EA Technical Guidance WM3. This assessment will assign a classification in the form of a European Waste Code (e.g. 17 09 04 non-hazardous mixed construction and demolition waste or 17 09 03 hazardous).
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Please note that Waste Acceptance Criteria testing, associated with disposal to landfill, although it may provide useful information, cannot be used for waste classification.