Last edited 13 Jun 2017

Disposal

Contents

[edit] Introduction

Construction activities can generate large amounts of waste materials that then need to be disposed of. In addition, at the end of a building's life, it may be deconstructed or demolished, generating significant amounts of waste.

Increasingly, there are options available in terms of reusing and recycling materials, and reducing the amount of waste produced in the first place, but still a large amount of waste is disposed of in landfill.

The UK construction industry is the largest consumer of resources, requiring more than 400 million tonnes of material a year (ref Davis Langdon). 32% of landfill waste comes from the construction and demolition of buildings and 13% of products delivered to construction sites are sent directly to landfill without being used (ref Technology Strategy Board).

This can be an expensive process, as the 1996 Finance Act introduced a tax on waste disposal on all landfill sites registered in the UK. For more information see: Landfill tax.

A site waste management plan (SWMP) can be prepared describing how materials will be managed efficiently and disposed of legally during the construction of the works, and explaining how the re-use and recycling of materials will be maximised. This involves estimating how much of each type of waste is likely to be produced and the proportion of this that will be re-used or recycled on site, or removed from the site for re-use, recycling, recovery or disposal. This was a legal requirement until 2013, but whilst it is not longer required, it remains best practice.

[edit] Waste classification

Before sending waste for disposal, it should be sorted and classified to allow waste contractors to manage it effectively, and ensure that hazardous waste is properly handled.

The classification description should include:

  • The waste classification code, also known as the List of Waste (LoW) code.
  • Whether or not it is hazardous.
  • The type of location and site where it was produced.
  • The name of the substances.
  • The process that produced the waste.
  • A chemical and physical analysis of the waste.
  • Any special problems, requirements or information related to the waste.

The tables below list waste codes for common construction and demolition waste.

(*) An asterisk at the end of a code means the waste is hazardous.

[edit] Insulation and asbestos materials

WASTE TYPE WASTE STATUS WASTE CODE
Insulation containing asbestos Hazardous 17-06-01*
Other insulation containing hazardous substances Hazardous 17-06-03*
Other insulation materials Non-hazardous 17-06-04
Other construction materials containing asbestos Hazardous 17-06-05*


[edit] Concrete, bricks, tiles and ceramics

This list excludes asbestos-containing materials - refer to the insulation and asbestos materials table for any waste with asbestos.

WASTE TYPE WASTE STATUS WASTE CODE
Concrete Non-hazardous 17-01-01
Bricks Non-hazardous 17-01-02
Tiles and ceramics Non-hazardous 17-01-03
Concrete, bricks, tiles and ceramics (alone or in mixtures) containing hazardous substances Hazardous 17-01-06*
Concrete, bricks, tiles and ceramics in mixtures, containing no hazardous substances Non-hazardous 17-01-07


[edit] Wood, glass and plastic

This list excludes packaging wastes and domestic type recyclables - refer to the packaging section for related codes.

WASTE TYPE WASTE STATUS WASTE CODE
Wood - untreated Non-hazardous 17-02-01
Glass - uncontaminated Non-hazardous 17-02-02
Plastic - excludes packaging waste Non-hazardous 17-02-03
Treated wood, glass, plastic (alone or in mixtures) containing hazardous substances Hazardous 17-02-04*


[edit] Bituminous mixtures, coal tar and tar

WASTE TYPE WASTE STATUS WASTE CODE
Bituminous mixtures containing coal tar Hazardous 17-03-01*
Other bituminous mixtures Non-hazardous 17-03-02
Coal tar and tarred products Hazardous 17-03-03*


[edit] Metallic waste, including cable

WASTE TYPE WASTE STATUS WASTE CODE
Copper, bronze and brass Non-hazardous 17-04-01
Aluminium Non-hazardous 17-04-02
Lead Non-hazardous 17-04-03
Iron and steel Non-hazardous 17-04-05
Tin Non-hazardous 17-04-06
Mixed metals Non-hazardous 17-04-07
Metals containing hazardous substances Hazardous 17-04-09*
Cables containing oil, coal tar and other hazardous substances Hazardous 17-04-10*
Other cables Non-hazardous 17-04-11


[edit] Soil, contaminated soil, stones and dredging spoil

WASTE TYPE WASTE STATUS WASTE CODE
Soil and stones containing hazardous substances Hazardous 17-05-03*
Other soil and stones Non-hazardous 17-05-04
Dredging spoil containing hazardous substances Hazardous 17-05-05*
Other dredging spoil Non-hazardous 17-05-06


[edit] Gypsum

WASTE TYPE WASTE STATUS WASTE CODE
Gypsum materials containing hazardous substances Hazardous 17-08-01*
Other gypsum materials Non-hazardous 17-08-02


[edit] Cement

WASTE TYPE WASTE STATUS WASTE CODE
Un-used or un-set cement Hazardous 17-09-03*


[edit] Paints and varnishes

Paints and varnishes of a type normally used by householders can be classified under the codes indicated in brackets if separated out from other waste.

WASTE TYPE WASTE STATUS WASTE CODE
Containing organic solvents or other hazardous substances Hazardous 08-01-11* (20-01-27*)
Not containing organic solvents or other hazardous substances Non-hazardous 08-01-12 (20-01-28)
Paint or varnish remover Hazardous 08-01-21*
Paint cans Hazardous


[edit] Adhesives and sealants

Adhesives and sealants of a type normally used by householders can be classified under the codes indicated in brackets if separated out from other waste.

WASTE TYPE WASTE STATUS WASTE CODE
Containing organic solvents or other hazardous substances Hazardous 08-04-09* (20-01-27*)
Not containing organic solvents or other hazardous substances Non-hazardous 08-04-10 (20-01-28)
Adhesive or sealant containers Hazardous

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