Don’t just skip old windows and doors

Specialist commercial installer, The Window Company (Contracts), has issued a reminder to fabricators, installers and contractors that they have new environmental obligations when it comes to disposing of waste wood from buildings built between 1950 and 2007 – and explained why there is a real incentive for them to comply as quickly as possible.

As of 1 September, 10 specific items, including windows, doors, conservatories, fascias, soffits and barge boards have been classified by the Environment Agency as potentially hazardous because of the invisible treatments they may contain. That means they can no longer be sent direct to wood recycling facilities until they have been tested using the WRA’s (Wood Recyclers’ Association) 02 testing suite and no trace of hazardous contamination found.

The Window Company (Contracts) has already established a new process for segregating, sample testing and reporting on all the relevant timber items it removes during replacement and refurbishment projects.

Katie Thornton, director of compliance and administration, explained: “There is obviously a cost for the additional skip we have had to acquire to segregate pre-2007 wood and for the WRA 02 testing, which is around £250 per time. However, we have been assured by the WRA that there are no long term plans for windows, doors and ancillary products to stay on the hazardous list if, as an industry, we can act quickly and efficiently and demonstrate together that they do not present an environmental risk.

“We have worked closely with our waste partners to streamline the process as much as we can, and we would like to see other installers and contractors doing the same. If everyone impacted by the new rules gets their act together in the way we have done and enough samples are submitted to prove that our waste wood products aren’t actually hazardous, this will hopefully be just a short term requirement.”

The Window Company (Contracts) is directing others in the industry to the WRA website where there is full guidance and a downloadable toolkit for those impacted by the new rules:

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