ADLib Glossary (S)

Definition:

Special or Hazardous Waste

Hazardous wastes all have one or more properties that could cause harm to the environment or human health. They may for example contain something that is toxic, highly flammable, infectious, carcinogenic or corrosive. Typical examples of hazardous waste produced on farms include: asbestos (all types), oils, lead acid batteries, antifreeze, fluorescent light tubes and agrochemical concentrate.

Click here to find out what to do with your hazardous wastes.

The strict definition of hazardous waste is given in the article 1(4) of European Directive 91/689/EEC according to which hazardous waste is:

  • wastes featuring on a list to be drawn up in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 18 of Directive 75/442/EEC on the basis of Annexes I and II of Directive 91/689/EEC (see below). These wastes must have one or more of the properties listed in Annex III. The list shall take into account the origin and composition of the waste and, where necessary, limit values of concentration.
  • any other waste which is considered by a Member State to display any of the properties listed in Annex III.

The list identifying hazardous wastes is called the Hazardous Waste List (HWL) and is subject to constant review. The latest HWL is dictated by European Directive 2000/532/EC (as amended). More detailed information on the HWL can be found at the Consolidated version of the European Waste Catalogue.

 


 

Annexes I, II and III from European Directive 91/689/EEC

ANNEX I

CATEGORIES OR GENERIC TYPES OF HAZARDOUS WASTE LISTED ACCORDING TO THEIR NATURE OR THE ACTIVITY WHICH GENERATED THEM (*) (WASTE MAY BE LIQUID, SLUDGE OR SOLID IN FORM)

ANNEX I.A.

Wastes displaying any of the properties listed in Annex III and which consist of:

  1. anatomical substances; hospital and other clinical wastes; 
  2. pharmaceuticals, medicines and veterinary compounds; 
  3. wood preservatives; 
  4. biocides and phyto-pharmaceutical substances; 
  5. residue from substances employed as solvents; 
  6. halogenated organic substances not employed as solvents excluding inert polymerized materials; 
  7. tempering salts containing cyanides; 
  8. mineral oils and oily substances (e.g. cutting sludges, etc.); 
  9. oil/water, hydrocarbon/water mixtures, emulsions; 
  10. substances containing PCBs and/or PCTs (e.g. dielectrics etc.); 
  11. tarry materials arising from refining, distillation and any pyrolytic treatment (e.g. still bottoms, etc.); 
  12. inks, dyes, pigments, paints, lacquers, varnishes; 
  13. resins, latex, plasticizers, glues/adhesives; 
  14. chemical substances arising from research and development or teaching activities which are not identified and/or are new and whose effects on man and/or the environment are not known (e.g. laboratory residues, etc.); 
  15. pyrotechnics and other explosive materials; 
  16. photographic chemicals and processing materials; 
  17. any material contaminated with any congener of polychlorinated dibenzofuran; 
  18. any material contaminated with any congener of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxin.

ANNEX I.B.

Wastes which contain any of the constituents listed in Annex II and having any of the properties listed in Annex III and consisting of:

  1. animal or vegetable soaps, fats, waxes; 
  2. non-halogenated organic substances not employed as solvents; 
  3. inorganic substances without metals or metal compounds; 
  4. ashes and/or cinders; 
  5. soil, sand, clay including dredging spoils; 
  6. non-cyanidic tempering salts; 
  7. metallic dust, powder; 
  8. spent catalyst materials; 
  9. liquids or sludges containing metals or metal compounds; 
  10. residue from pollution control operations (e.g. baghouse dusts, etc.) except (29), (30) and (33); 
  11. scrubber sludges; 
  12. sludges from water purification plants; 
  13. decarbonization residue; 
  14. ion-exchange column residue; 
  15. sewage sludges, untreated or unsuitable for use in agriculture; 
  16. residue from cleaning of tanks and/or equipment; 
  17. contaminated equipment; 
  18. contaminated containers (e.g. packaging, gas cylinders, etc.) whose contents included one or more of the constituents listed in Annex II; 
  19. batteries and other electrical cells; 
  20. vegetable oils; 
  21. materials resulting from selective waste collections from households and which exhibit any of the characteristics listed in Annex III;
  22. any other wastes which contain any of the constituents listed in Annex II and any of the properties listed in Annex III.

(*) Certain duplications of entries found in Annex II are intentional.

ANNEX II

CONSTITUENTS OF THE WASTES IN ANNEX I.B. WHICH RENDER THEM HAZARDOUS WHEN THEY HAVE THE PROPERTIES DESCRIBED IN ANNEX III (*)

Wastes having as constituents:

 

C1 beryllium; beryllium compounds;
C2 vanadium compounds;
C3 chromium (VI) compounds; 
C4 cobalt compounds;
C5 nickel compounds;
C6 copper compounds;
C7 zinc compounds;
C8 arsenic; arsenic compounds;
C9 selenium; selenium compounds;
C10 silver compounds;
C11 cadmium; cadmium compounds;
C12 tin compounds;
C13 antimony; antimony compounds;
C14 tellurium; tellurium compounds;
C15 barium compounds; excluding barium sulfate;
C16 mercury; mercury compounds;
C17 thallium; thallium compounds;
C18 lead; lead compounds;
C19 inorganic sulphides;
C20 inorganic fluorine compounds, excluding calcium fluoride;
C21 inorganic cyanides;
C22 the following alkaline or alkaline earth metals: lithium, sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium in uncombined form;
C23 acidic solutions or acids in solid form;
C24 basic solutions or bases in solid form;
C25 asbestos (dust and fibres);
C26 phosphorus: phosphorus compounds, excluding mineral phosphates;
C27 metal carbonyls;
C28 peroxides;
C29 chlorates;
C30 perchlorates;
C31 azides;
C32 PCBs and/or PCTs;
C33 pharmaceutical or veterinary compounds;
C34 biocides and phyto-pharmaceutical substances (e.g. pesticides, etc.);
C35 infectious substances;
C36 creosotes;
C37 isocyanates; thiocyanates;
C38 organic cyanides (e.g. nitriles, etc.);
C39 phenols; phenol compounds;
C40 halogenated solvents;
C41 organic solvents, excluding halogenated solvents;
C42 organohalogen compounds, excluding inert polymerized materials and other substances referred to in this Annex;
C43 aromatic compounds; polycyclic and heterocyclic organic compounds;
C44 aliphatic amines;
C45 aromatic amines C46 ethers;
C47 substances of an explosive character, excluding those listed elsewhere in this Annex;
C48 sulphur organic compounds;
C49 any congener of polychlorinated dibenzo-furan;
C50 any congener of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxin;
C51 hydrocarbons and their oxygen; nitrogen and/or sulphur compounds not otherwise taken into account in this Annex

(*)Certain duplications of generic types of hazardous wastes listed in Annex I are intentional.

Annex III

PROPERTIES OF WASTES WHICH RENDER THEM HAZARDOUS

 

H1
 
 'Explosive`: substances and preparations which may explode under the effect of flame or which are more sensitive to shocks or friction than dinitrobenzene.
H2 'Oxidizing`: substances and preparations which exhibit highly exothermic reactions when in contact with other substances, particularly flammable substances.
H3-A 'Highly flammable`:
- liquid substances and preparations having a flash point below 21 C (including extremely flammable liquids), or - substances and preparations which may become hot and finally catch fire in contact with air at ambient temperature without any application of energy, or - solid substances and preparations which may readily catch fire after brief contact with a source of ignition and which continue to burn or to be consumed after removal of the source of ignition, or - gaseous substances and preparations which are flammable in air at normal pressure, or - substances and preparations which, in contact with water or damp air, evolve highly flammable gases in dangerous quantities.
H3-B  'Flammable`: liquid substances and preparations having a flash point equal to or greater than 21 C and less than or equal to 55 C.
H4  'Irritant`: non-corrosive substances and preparations which, through immediate, prolonged or repeated contact with the skin or mucous membrane, can cause inflammation.
H5 'harmful`: substances and preparations which, if they are inhaled or ingested or if they penetrate the skin, may involve limited health risks.
H6 'Toxic`: substances and preparations (including very toxic substances and preparations) which, if they are inhaled or ingested or if they penetrate the skin, may involve serious, acute or chronic health risks and even death.
H7 'Carcinogenic`: substances and preparations which, if they are inhaled or ingested or if they penetrate the skin, may induce cancer or increase its incidence.
 
H8 'Corrosive`: substances and preparations which may destroy living tissue on contacts.
H9 'Infectious`: substances containing viable micro-organisms or their toxins which are known or reliably believed to cause disease in man or other living organisms.
H10 'Teratogenic`: substances and preparations which, if they are inhaled or ingested or if they penetrate the skin, may induce non-hereditary congenital malformations or increase their incidence.
H11 'Mutagenic`: substances and preparations which, if they are inhaled or ingested or if they penetrate the skin, may induce hereditary genetic defects or increase their incidence.
H12  Substances and preparations which release toxic or very toxic gases in contact with water, air or an acid.
H13 Substances and preparations capable by any means, after disposal, of yielding another substance, e.g. a leachate, which possesses any of the characteristics listed above.
H14 'Ecotoxic`: substances and preparations which present or may present immediate or delayed risks for one or more sectors of the environment.

Notes
1. Attribution of the hazard properties 'toxic` (and 'very toxic`), 'harmful`, 'corrosive` and 'irritant` is made on the basis of the criteria laid down by Annex VI, part I A and part II B, of Council Directive 67/548/EEC of 27 June 1967 of the approximation of laws, regulations and administrative provisions relating to the classification, packaging and labelling of dangerous substances (1), in the version as amended by Council Directive 79/831/EEC (2).
2. With regard to attribution of the properties 'carcinogenic`, 'teratogenic` and 'mutagenic`, and reflecting the most recent findings, additional criteria are contained in the Guide to the classification and labelling of dangerous substances and preparations of Annex VI (part II D) to Directive 67/548/EEC in the version as amended by Commission Directive 83/467/EEC (1).

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