Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland

Demolition waste

Construction waste management - demolition wasteconstruction waste

What you must do

Tanks and underground structures

Before you begin demolition work, identify the location and condition of any storage tanks and pipes that need to be removed.

You must empty tanks and pipelines that contain polluting materials before you remove them. Make sure that the contents are properly disposed of.

You must identify any liquids left on site, for example, in barrels or containers, or liquids from decommissioning storage tanks and pipes and dispose of them at an appropriately licensed facility such as a treatment plant.

Any liquid wastes you store on site should be clearly labelled and contained within a bunded area.


Materials for recycling are likely to be classed as waste until they are fully recovered. As such, they will be subject to waste management and the duty of care regulations. If in any doubt, seek advice from your environmental regulator. These materials include:

  • scrap metal
  • broken out concrete
  • timber
  • bricks
  • tiles.

Reduce, reuse and recycle your business waste

You can find local sites that will take demolition waste for reuse at:

Resource Efficient Scotland: Construction materials exchange

Invest NI Industrial Symbiosis Service

Recycled aggregates

If you recover aggregates from construction, demolition and excavation waste and sell them as products (recycled aggregates), rather than waste, you must comply with the REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) Regulation.

For further information on REACH and recycled aggregates visit the HSE website.

HSE: REACH and substances recovered from waste

NIEA: Construction and Demolition Waste and Recycled Concrete

For further information on REACH see the NetRegs REACH guidance.

REACH Regulation - manufacturing, importing, selling and using chemicals

Northern Ireland

The NIEA in association with the EA and WRAP have revised the end of waste Quality Protocol (October 2013) for the production of aggregates from inert waste. It reflects the latest approved industry standards, including factory production control, and incorporates other improvements and clarifications to make it easier for producers and users to ensure full compliance with the end of waste criteria.

WRAP: Aggregates from inert waste

The Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA) has produced detailed guidance for the construction sector. This is free to download.

CECA: Waste classification and permitting in construction

Land contamination

You must ensure that your demolition activities do not create pathways by which contamination can move around or off your site. For example, if you remove concrete hard-standing this can increase the flow of rainwater through contaminated ground. This could lead to pollution of surface or groundwater.

Read more Managing Waste Materials topics on NetRegs

SEE ALSO: Construction Guidance, GPP6 Working on Construction sites

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