UPDATED What waste goes where?

Rebecca Best
September 18, 2023

Most companies produce waste in one way or another and with a growing concern for the environment and adhering to strict regulations, its important to understand what waste goes where.

In this blog we will simplify waste management by providing a guide on how to categorise waste and dispose of it correctly.


First and foremost, classifying waste type is key and this detail is required in order to complete the correct paperwork. Waste Transfer Notes should be completed for all types of non-hazardous waste and Consignment Notes for all types of hazardous waste.

Hazardous or non-hazardous?

Hazardous and Non-Hazardous waste is quite simply, a minefield! There are lots of variables and different ways to correctly dispose of waste and to prove this we have a whole section on our website dedicated to specialist waste. To help find out which category your waste sits under, click here.

What waste goes where:

Wood Waste; The RPS 250 took effect from 1 August 2021 and will be withdrawn on the 1 September 2023. This means certain wood products cannot be disposed of without being assessed, in line with the guidance or even tested for hazardous properties.

The potentially hazardous waste wood items are: barge boardsexternal fascia’ssoffit boardsexternal joinery (wooden windows and conservatories)external doorsroof timberstiling and cladding battenstimber frames and joists from 1950 to 2007 buildings.

POP’s (Persistent Organic Pollutants); From 1st January 2023 new guidance was released from the Environment Agency regarding the disposal of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs). New regulations state these items can no longer be recycled or accepted at landfill and must therefore be incinerated.

Hardcore waste; This includes materials like rubble, bricks, tiles, crushed rock and concrete. Hardcore is often a significant part of landfill sites. With careful sorting most building waste can be recycled and reused into more building materials. Crushed concrete can be used as a base for new roads, whereas bricks can be cleaned and reused.

Plasterboard Waste; Plasterboard isn’t hazardous, but it’s still banned from being dumped in landfill sites. This is because the gypsum in plasterboard, when wet or mixed with biodegradable material (e.g. food), produces a toxic gas known as hydrogen sulphide. Plasterboard waste generally arises from demolition projects, off-cuts from new construction projects or rejects from the manufacture of plasterboard.  

To dispose of it properly, transport the plasterboard in bulk to a fully licenced and bespoke recycling facility, where 100% of the gypsum-based material is recycled and reused for new plasterboard. 

Waste Electric Electronic and Equipment – AKA WEEE waste – refers to any end-of-life electrical appliance. This can include everything from fridges and phones to IT and telecommunications equipment. These items are full of hazardous materials like lead, mercury, and cadmium – all of which can leak into the environment and cause harm to wildlife and human health. 

Where possible, WEEE waste is decontaminated and any recoverable material is extracted. WEEE waste has a recycling potential of more than 80%, so it’s a major source of raw material to be reused! 

Disposal must take place in a specialist reprocessing centre, where items are dismantled and separated.  

Contaminated Soil; Soil can become contaminated in several different ways, including through industrial activity, agricultural chemicals, and oil or fuel spillages. Depending on the type of contamination, contaminated soil can be classified as hazardous or non-hazardous. 

Contaminated soil is handled by specialists and dealt with through either treatment, landfill, or some combination of the two. Options for treating contaminated soil include bioremediation – using bacteria to break down the substances in the soil – or physical methods like soil washing, which uses water to separate or remove contaminants. 

Bulk Pallets; Pallets are widely used across many industries, due to their versatile and long-lasting properties. What’s more, they can be recycled, reused and repaired if damaged.  

Handled properly, old pallets are taken to a recycling centre, where they’re sorted and refurbished where required and then put back into circulation. Pallets that are beyond repair are recycled, often into either animal bedding or biomass pellets. 

Site Solutions work with accredited contractors nationwide, we have the expertise and relationships to find the best sustainable solution to manage all waste types. If what you need isn’t on the list – get in touch! 

See how we can help you

Further reading…

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