Study on classification of hazardous waste

The European Commission has published the report of its Study to develop a guidance document on the definition and classification of hazardous waste.

Waste classification legislation –the European List of Waste and the properties which render waste hazardous- were reviewed in 2015 and waste characterisation has to be carried out in accordance with the new methods set out. This new characterisation, which involves modifications in waste labelling, is mandatory for the waste producer. A  seminar  organised by the Spanish Association of Hazardous Waste Managers (ASEGRE) was held in April 2015 to examine new aspects of the legislation governing the properties that render waste hazardous and waste transportation.

The European Commission commissioned this study to serve as the basis for an EC guidance document, which will provide guidelines on hazardous waste classification. In the drafting of the report, current legislation was reviewed and the available literature, field research and the contributions of experts were all taken into account.

The document is structured in three chapters and four annexes. The first two chapters provide detailed information on the legislation governing waste and its classification. Chapter 3 features a general guide to classification and the annexes explain the methodology for the classification of waste in accordance with the European List of Waste. Examples are provided for a number of waste types: packaging, WEEE and ELVs; for substances contained in waste: hydrocarbons, PAHs, and BTEX; and for substances the deplete the ozone layer: asbestos, lime (CaO, Ca(OH)2), asphalt, metals and alloys, organic peroxides, rubber, plastic and persistent organic pollutants. Sources of information are provided on hazardous substances (REACH and safety data sheets), the determination of the properties that render waste hazardous, and sampling and chemical analysis of waste.