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Definition of Waste: Development Industry Code of Practice

DoWCoP Version 3 sponsorship opportunity>>>

Download Definition of Waste: Development Industry Code of Practice - Main Document>>>

Download Guidance Bulletin (GB3) - Definition of Waste: Development Industry Code of Practice>>>

Terms & Conditions >>> (For use after 1st Oct 2014)

The Definition of Waste: Development Industry Code of Practice (DoWCoP) is an initiative to improve the sustainable and cost effective development of land. The DoWCoP provides a clear, consistent and streamlined process which enables the legitimate reuse of excavated materials on-site or their movement between sites with a significantly reduced regulatory burden. In many instances the DoWCoP can provide an alternative to Environmental Permits or Waste Exemptions when seeking to reuse excavated materials.

The DoWCoP enables the direct transfer and reuse of clean naturally occurring soil materials between sites. It creates the conditions to support the establishment and operation of fixed soil treatment facilities, which have a key role to play in the future of sustainable materials management. It allows the reuse of both contaminated and uncontaminated materials on the site of production and between sites within defined Cluster projects.

A full version of the updated DoWCoP is available for download above.

Success to Date

The original Definition of Waste: Development Industry Code of Practice (Version 1) was released in September 2008 and covered the reuse of materials on site and as part of a defined Cluster Projects. This allowed significant cost and environmental benefits to be realised; the DoWCoP has been applied on more than 450 projects ranging from landmark developments through land remediation schemes to more routine infrastructure and utility works.

The DoWCoP has allowed the Environment Agency to step back from the detailed auditing and quality assurance of many earthworks projects which pose little or no risk to the environment. An appropriate degree of scrutiny is still applied to higher risk schemes, but the public resources saved by this initiative allow the Agency to focus on more damaging illegal activities. In establishing a role for a “Qualified Person” the Environment Agency has enabled the private sector step up and take responsibility for implementing good practice and promoting sustainable materials management.

Requirements for Qualified Persons

The role of Qualified Persons in ensuring that best practice is consistently and demonstrably applied is key to the success of the DoWCoP. It is essential that all Qualified Persons update and maintain their knowledge of waste and contaminated land management.

Register of Environmental Benefits

The success of the DoWCoP to date and it future use and development relies on a strong portfolio of successful projects. Improvement of the DoWCoP can only be achieved on the basis of practitioner’s experiences. It therefore remains vital for the industry to provide feedback on their experiences and the benefits in using the DoWCoP. Consequently we continue to provide online pro-formas to collate this information to act as the Register of Environmental Benefits; this will also allow
CL:AIRE to feedback aggregated data back to the industry.

To this end, following use of the DoWCoP we would be grateful if you could complete the relevant of the pro-formas.

  • Site of Origin Use Register of Environmental Benefits
  • CLUSTER Site Use Register of Environmental Benefits
  • Direct Transfer Use Register of Environmental Benefits

Register of Materials

CL:AIRE is keeping a register of materials and services which fall within the DoWCoP. We aim to link material holders with service providers or organisations requiring materials in order to make the process of finding project partners more efficient.

Organisations involved in the management of development sites are urged to register key information on materials and services which fall with the DoWCoP to be held confidentially by CL:AIRE. For example - which sites are being or are due to be remediated/developed? What treatment options are in use or available in an area of the country? Where there are site imbalances of soils or fill materials? CL:AIRE will review the information provided against the register and contact organisations where we see possible project partnerships. The register is not publicly available; CL:AIRE will act to make the introductions and offer any further services as required in order to ensure successful partnerships are achieved.

CL:AIRE's independence in the market and familiarity with the DoWCoP means it is well positioned to act as a trusted administrator of such an initiative. More information is available at

For any technical queries relating to the Definition of Waste: Code of Practice please contact Nicholas Willenbrock at 

1. The DoWCoP can provide an alternative to the use of an Environmental Permit or Waste Exemption in certain circumstances. Increase in the use of the DoWCoP is already being seen since the effective removal of widely used waste exemptions (e.g. para 9 and 19) in April 2010. This trend is expected to continue as Developers face decisions as to whether or not they require an Environmental Permit to cover the reuse of excavated materials.

2. The Steering Group is made up of site owners, industry groups, regulators, consultants and contractors facilitated by CL:AIRE. The members are:

  • Clive Boyle (Chair) - Environmental Industries Commission
  • Phil Crowcroft - Environmental Industries Commission
  • Nicholas Willenbrock - CL:AIRE
  • Matthew Whitehead - Environment Agency
  • Jonathan Atkinson - Environment Agency
  • Ged Duckworth (Lead Author) - GD Environmental
  • Richard Boyle - Homes and Community Agency
  • Peter Witherington - Home Builders Federation
  • Lisa Hathway - National House Building Council
  • Frank Evans - Soil & Groundwater Technology Association
  • Doug Laidler - Soil & Groundwater Technology Association
  • Mike Higgins and Roger Dunn - representing fixed Soil Treatment Facility operators
  • Charlie Law - UK Contractors Group (UKCG)
  • Peter Johnson - UK Contractors Group (UKCG)
  • James Parr - UK Contractors Group (UKCG)
  • Steve Livingston - The Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA)

3. CL:AIRE has trained over 600 individuals through it’s DoWCoP course.

4. Financial sponsorship for this version has been received from the Homes & Communities Agency (HCA), DEC UK Ltd, and Hydrock.