The reuse of soil is the single most important factor in the waste strategy and will contribute to recycle targets and reduced costs more than any other waste stream. But are you using the correct method to facilitate the reuse of soils on site or transfer the material between sites, without it being classified as a waste?
Reuse of Waste Soils and Aggregates
The reuse and movement of waste soils and aggregates from one site to another is a common occurrence and it is surprising the number of companies that carry out this exercise without remaining compliant. Be honest, how many construction or development sites have a U1 exemption or environmental permit, not many. Even fewer seem to be aware of the CL: AIRE CoP
. At the moment companies seem to be getting away with it, but in my opinion it’s only a matter of time before the Environment Agency starts cracking down and issuing fines for this clear breach of legislation.
To remain compliant, you have a few options. Firstly, you need to consider what volume of material you are looking to re-use.
For smaller volumes, the easiest option would be a U1 waste exemption, it can be used for lower volumes up to 1,000t of soil and 5,000t of aggregates, its free and straightforward to apply for (from the Environment Agency) and takes about 5-days to implement. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/waste-exemptions-using-waste
For larger volumes, you have 2 alternatives. One is an environmental permit for the site, however, this is both costly and time consuming and in my opinion isn’t an efficient option for a development site.
CL: AIRE Code of Practice
By far the best option is the CL: AIRE CoP
which provides a framework to allow the reuse of unlimited quantities of excavated materials without being classified as a waste. It is directly applicable to everyone who commissions earthworks and their Engineers and Contractors.
From a buying perspective, it ticks both the finance and environmental box by providing significant savings in comparison to traditional removal methods as well as contributing to environmental performance by reusing the material.
Contact Ecofficiency on 0800 0305051 to discuss CL: AIRE Applications, Materials management planning and verification of the process using a Qualified Assessor.
Post by Simon Raven, Managing Director Ecofficiency.