Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland

Excavated materials from construction sites

Excavated materials (rock and soil) from construction sitesrock and soil from construction sites

What you must do

Material that you remove from an excavation will not normally be regarded as waste if:

  • you intend to reuse it on your site and
  • it is suitable for use as backfill and
  • it does not need to be processed before it can be reused.

In such cases the material would not be subject, at that point in time, to:

  • the duty of care for waste
  • waste management licensing
  • pollution prevention and control (PPC) regime.

If the material you excavate is only fit for use if it is encapsulated, it is likely that this will be regarded as a landfilling activity and may require a permit.

Diluting or mixing contaminated material with non-contaminated material on site is not permitted. If in doubt, you should consult with your local environmental regulator.

Resource Efficient Scotland: Construction materials exchange

WRAPNI: Industrial Symbiosis (NISP Network)

Further information

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

Hazardous / special waste

NIEA: Construction and Demolition Waste and Recycled Concrete

Waste carriers, brokers and dealers

Duty of Care: Your waste responsibilities

Pollution prevention and control permits

Waste management licences

SEE ALSO: Extractive waste from mining and quarrying

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