Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland

Crushing bricks, tiles, concrete & other materials

Crushing bricks, tiles, concrete & other materialsCrushing bricks, tiles, concrete & other materials

What you must do

Site-gained concrete, bricks, tiles or other materials can be crushed and reused as sub-base or fill. You should consider broken-out concrete to be waste if you discard it, intend to discard it or are required to discard it for any reason. As such it is subject to the duty of care and waste management licensing.

Duty of care - your waste responsibilities

Waste management licences

If you transport concrete and other materials off your site to be crushed, make sure that you have the appropriate waste transfer documentation.

If you are a construction or demolition business and you are carrying your own waste, you will need to register as a waste carrier with your environmental regulator.

Waste carriers, brokers and dealers

Treating waste on your site will require a waste management licence, registered exemption or pollution prevention and control (PPC) permit.

The exemption you may require is a paragraph 24 exemption.

If you have an exemption, you must comply with the exemption conditions.

You will need to register this exemption with the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) in Northern Ireland or SEPA in Scotland.

You must still ensure that your activity does not:

  • endanger human health or cause pollution to water, air or soil
  • constitute a risk to plants or animals
  • cause a nuisance in terms of noise, dust, fumes, smoke and odour
  • adversely affect the countryside or places of special interest.

NIEA: Paragraph 24 – crushing and grinding of waste bricks, tiles or concrete

SEPA: Waste management licensing exemptions

Waste management licences

If concrete, bricks, tiles or other material are to be crushed at a processing plant on site, you must ensure that the crushing plant has:

  • a PPC Part C permit from the local council in Northern Ireland
  • a PPC Part B permit from SEPA in Scotland.

Defra: Process Guidance Note 3/16 (04) – Mobile Crushing and Screening (Adobe PDF - 429KB)

Pollution prevention and control permits

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 WRAP website.

WRAP: REACH - Obligations for producers of recycled and other recovered aggregates

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

Good practice

The WRAP Aggregates Programme promotes sustainable use of aggregates. It reduces the demand for primary aggregates by encouraging greater use of recycled and secondary aggregates.

WRAP Aggregates Programme

NIEA: Construction and Demolition Waste and Recycled Concrete

Read about More waste treatment processes on NetRegs

Environmental News Blog

NetRegs on NetRegs on youTube

View our latest videos & subscribe to our channel.

NetRegs Update Newsletter

Free monthly email newsletter with environmental updates for Northern Ireland and Scotland

Sign up for free today!


NIEA - Apply online

SEPA - Application forms