| Compliance

New RPS 291 brings new changes to waste wood treatment.

Following the withdrawal of RPS 250, on Thursday 2nd November, the Environment Agency introduced a new regulatory position statement (RPS 291) relating specifically to waste wood found in domestic premises, demolition sites, and other building construction.

What is RPS 291?

The RPS 291 compliance relates to the storage and processing involved with waste wood items in the potentially hazardous ‘amber’ category. The new statement now means that any amber items of waste wood can now be stored or processed as non-hazardous, providing the material is tested every quarter.

What are amber items of waste wood?

Amber items of waste wood are from buildings built between 1950 and 2006 and are:

  • Roof timbers
  • Tiling and cladding battens
  • Timber frames and joists.

Amber items of waste wood are also from buildings built between 1950 and 1995 and are:

  • Barge boards, fascias, and soffits
  • External timber cladding
  • External doors
  • External windows

What does RPS 291 mean for you?

If you are a producer of amber items of waste wood, it means any waste material will need to be tested quarterly and all results will need to be shared with the Wood Recyclers Association (WRA). Although the waste wood will need testing, it means that producers must no longer test every item or consign as hazardous to meet compliance.

What conditions do I need to comply with?

As a producer of waste wood, WRA confirms that your business must move amber items under a transfer note and in line with duty of care requirements for non-hazardous waste.

If businesses are working with a partner, then they must carry out pre-acceptance checks to see if the partner is eligible to store at a transfer station or treat amber items of waste wood, and make sure that the waste wood is tested regularly (at least once a quarter) and has Wood Recyclers Association (WRA) submission reports to prove it.

What if I don’t share test results?

As reported by WRA, those who do not share their test results with them and receive a submission report will NOT be compliant under the RPS.

For producers, it is imperative that testing is conducted at least quarterly, and all submission data is sent, or compliance will not be met.



The new RPS 291 will run until 1st October 2024 for the whole of the UK, however, WRA has stated that this could be withdrawn before then if the testing and sampling aren’t forthcoming from producers.

Reconomy can provide waste wood testing and classification for businesses that require it for compliance. If your business needs assistance with testing or any advice on RPS 291, please contact us today: