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Hazardous waste classification

Amendments to the European Waste Classification regulation - what do they mean and what are the consequences?

image of Hazardous waste classification

In European legislation, waste is classified either as hazardous or non-hazardous. Hazardous waste is a waste that due to its (intrinsic) chemical or other properties poses a risk to the environment and/or human health. The legislation for waste classification was revised in 2014 in order to align it with the chemical legislation, the CLP Regulation, but some criteria and assessment procedures for the interpretation of the hazardousness were left open.

Waste classification has several implications on the waste management. This report presents challenges in the hazardous waste classification. In this report, the authors express their views on the interpretation of the waste status, especially focusing on the potentially recyclable high volume waste streams. Also recommendations for the assessement of some hazardous properties are included.

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Implications of the revised waste classification legislation on the management of selected waste streams

Waste classification and related issues significantly influence the entire treatment and utilisation chain of waste. Potential changes in classification have a major impact on the status and acceptability of waste in the recycling market and especially in utilisation. In this section, some critical waste streams with mirror entries which might be classified as hazardous based on HP4, HP8 and/or HP14 are identified. There are no changes in legislation concerning HP4/HP8, but there have been unclarities in practice on how to assess these properties. The current LoW is thus not aligned with potential waste HP4/HP8 properties associated with high pH. Focus is on wastes that are generated in large amount and currently extensively recycled or have a high recycling potential. The implications of the classification on legislation were discussed in section 1.3.

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