EU hazardous waste list formally revised

Commission decision updates 1994 rules, rolls together hazardous, non-hazardous, waste lists

The European Commission has approved a revised version of the key official list of wastes that should be classified as hazardous in the EU. The new list - which will take effect on 1 January 2002 - also incorporates the existing European waste catalogue (EWC) of non-hazardous wastes, creating for the first time a single EU waste list. It is the first time the hazardous waste list has been modified since its original adoption in 1994.

Formally adopted by the Commission by written procedure on 3 May, the new list has still to appear in the Official Journal. ENDS Daily has obtained a copy, for details of which see below. The contents of the new list were finalised in December when member states gave their approval (ENDS Daily 20 December 1999).

The new list includes a revised series of hazardous wastes plus around 650 non-hazardous wastes carried over from the EWC. A small number of the 225 hazardous wastes from the 1994 list have been deleted to reduce inconsistencies with the UN Basel convention on trade in hazardous wastes. A further 300 or so wastes have been added on the basis of notifications from EU member states.

A further change from the previous hazardous waste list is that the new version introduces a double entry system for waste types that are hazardous or not, depending on concentrations of toxic materials. Contaminated soils or sludges from chemical effluent treatment are examples. In these cases, whether an actual waste should be classified as hazardous or not will be defined by reference to thresholds laid down in the 1988 dangerous preparations directive.

According to Commission officials, a second review of the hazardous waste list is already underway, aimed at incorporating a further 300 types of waste based on member state notifications already received but not considered during the first review. The Commission is aiming for approval from a committee of national representatives before the end of the year and to bring the new list into force alongside the changes already agreed on 1 January 2002.

Follow Up:
European Commission, tel: +32 2 299 1111. See also the text of the revised EU waste list.

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