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Background Information

  1. The European Waste Catalogue and hazardous waste list
  2. Date of introduction of the new list
  3. Definition of waste
  4. Definition of hazardous waste
  5. Hazardous waste classification tool

The European Waste Catalogue and hazardous waste list

The European Waste Catalogue and hazardous waste list presented in this document is based on the following EU legislation:

  • Commission Decision 2000/532/EC (OJ L 226, 6.9.2000, p. 3)
    As amended by:
  • Commission Decision 2001/118/EC (OJ L 47, 16.2.2001, p. 1)
  • Commission Decision 2001/119/EC (OJ L 47, 16.2.2001, p. 32)
  • Council Decision 2001/573/EC (OJ L 203, 28.7.2001, p. 18)

This document will be updated as further amendments are made to the list.

Date of introduction of the new list

The European Waste Catalogue and hazardous waste list presented in this document come into force on 1 January 2002.This was again revised in 2015.

All waste reporting for the year 2002 and subsequent years should use the classifications in this document.

All waste reporting for the year 2001 and earlier should use ‘Waste Catalogue and Hazardous Waste List’, published in 19968. The 1996 document will continue to be available from EPA Publications and on the EPA website (www.epa.ie) for a limited time.

Definition of waste

Waste Management Acts 1996 and 2001

Waste is defined in Section 4(1) of the Waste Management Acts 1996 and 2001 as “any substance or object belonging to a category of waste specified in the First Schedule [of the Waste Management Act] or for the time being included in the European Waste Catalogue which the holder discards or intends or is required to discard, and anything which is discarded or otherwise dealt with as if it were waste shall be presumed to be waste until the contrary is proved.”

The full text of the definition, including the First Schedule, can be read in the Waste Management Acts 1996 and 2001 (available from Government Publications or on the website of the Attorney General at www.irlgov.ie).

8 Waste Catalogue and Hazardous Waste List, EPA, 1996.

Definition of hazardous waste

Waste Management Acts 1996 and 2001

Hazardous waste is defined in Section 4(2) of the Waste Management Acts 1996 and 2001. The hazardous waste list forms an integral part of the definition. Figure 1 illustrates a summary of the definition and the decision sequence to be followed. Figure 1 shows that in order to be classified as hazardous waste, a waste must:

  • appear on the hazardous waste list or be prescribed under section 4(2)(a)(ii) of the Waste Management Act; and also
  • display one or more of the properties indicated in the Second Schedule to the Act.

The full text of the definition of hazardous waste can be read in the Waste Management Acts 1996 and 2001. It is also reproduced in full in the National Hazardous Waste Management Plan (available from EPA Publications, Richview, Clonskeagh Road, Dublin 14, tel: 01-2680100, fax: 01-2680199).

Extract from Commission Decision 2000/532/EC, as amended

Article 2

Wastes classified as hazardous are considered to display one or more of the properties listed in Annex III to Directive 91\689\EEC and, as regards H3 to H8, H10 9 and H11 of the said Annex, one or more of the following characteristics:

  • flash point ≤ ( less than or equal to) 55℃ 
  • one or more substances classified10 as very toxic at a total concentration ≥0.1%
  • one or more substances classified as toxic at a total concentration ≥3 %
  • one or more substances classified as harmful at a total concentration ≥ 25%
  • one or more corrosive substances classified as R35 at a total concentration ≥ 1%
  • one or more corrosive substances classified as R34 at a total concentration ≥ 5%
  • one or more irritant substances classified as R41 at a total concentration ≥ 10%
  • one or more irritant substances classified as R36, R37, R38 at a total concentration ≥ 20%
  • one substance known to be carcinogenic of category 1 or 2 at a concentration ≥ 0.1%
  • one substance known to be carcinogenic of category 3 at a concentration ≥ 1%
  • one substance toxic for reproduction9 of category 1 or 2 classified as R60, R61 at a concentration ≥ 0.5%
  • one substance toxic for reproduction of category 3 classified as R62, R63 at a concentration ≥ 5%
  • one mutagenic substance or category 1 or 2 classified as R46 at a concentration ≥ 0.1%
  • one mutagenic substance of category 3 classified as R40 at a concentration ≥ 1%

9 In Directive 92\32\EEC amending for the seventh time Directive 67/548/EEC the term ‘toxic for reproduction’ was introduced. The term ‘teratogenic’ was replaced by a corresponding term ‘toxic for reproduction’. This term is considered to be in line with property H10 in Annex III to Directive 91/689/EEC.

10 The classification as well as the R numbers refer to Directive 67/548/EEC on the approximation of the laws, regulations and administrative provision relating to the classification, packaging and labelling of dangerous substances (OJ L 196, 16.8.1967, p. 1.) and its subsequent amendments. The concentration limits refer to those laid down in Directive 88/379/EEC on the approximation of the laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the Member States relating to the classification, packaging and labelling of dangerous preparation (OJ L 187, 16.7.1988, p.14.) and its subsequent amendments.

Extract from Council Directive 91/689/EC on hazardous waste

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’9: 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 substances11, (or by subsequent Commission Directives adapting Directive 67/548/EEC to technical progress – See the Hazardous Waste Classification Tool for information on relevant amendments).
  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/EEC12 (or by subsequent Commission Directives adapting Directive 67/548/EEC to technical progress – See the Hazardous Waste Classification Tool for information on relevant amendments).

Test methods

The test methods serve to give specific meaning to the definitions given in Annex III.

The methods to be used are those described in Annex V to Directive 67/548/EEC, in the version as amended by Commission Directive 84/449/EEC13, or by subsequent Commission Directives adapting Directive 67/548/EEC to technical progress (See the Hazardous Waste Classification Tool for information on relevant amendments). These methods are themselves based on the work and recommendations of the competent international bodies, in particular the OECD.

Extract from Commission Decision 2000/532/EC, as amended

Article 3

Member States may decide, in exceptional cases, on the basis of documentary evidence provided in an appropriate way by the holder, that a specific waste indicated in the list as being hazardous does not display any of the properties listed in Annex III to Directive 91/689/EEC. Without prejudice to Article 1 (4), second indent, of Directive 91/689/EEC, Member States may decide, in exceptional cases, that a waste indicated in the list as being non-hazardous displays one or more of the properties listed in Annex III to Directive 91/689/EEC. All such decisions taken by Member States shall be communicated on a yearly basis to the Commission. The Commission shall collate these decisions and examine whether the Community list of wastes and hazardous wastes should be amended in the light of them.

11 OJ N L 196, 16. 8. 1967, p. 1.
12 OJ N L 257, 16. 9. 1983, p. 1.
13 OJ N L 251, 19. 9. 1984, p. 1.

Hazardous waste classification tool

The Environmental Protection Agency funded a project under the Environmental RTDI Programme entitled Procedure for Identification of the Hazardous Components of Waste. The project was carried out by the Clean Technology Centre, Cork Institute of Technology, Cork. The output of the project is a detailed breakdown of the complex legislation which is used in classifying the hazardous properties of a waste. Where a holder of waste wishes to provide evidence of the presence or absence of hazardous properties of that waste, in accordance with Article 3 above, the Hazardous Waste Classification Tool provides a mechanism to do this. The project report and the Hazardous Waste Classification Tool are available on the website of the Environmental Protection Agency at www.epa.ie/techinfo. Printed copies may be available from EPA Publications, Richview, Clonskeagh Road, Dublin 14, tel: 01-2680100, fax: 01-2680199.

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