Navigation path

High level navigation

Additional tools

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Print version
  • Decrease text
  • Increase text

Hazardous Waste

Directive 91/689/EEC on hazardous waste

Consultation Document  

drumsDeadline for comments: (12/03/2005)

What this consultation is about  

The Hazardous Waste Directive is one of the oldest EU legislative acts on waste. Its provisions are indispensable for safeguarding a high level of environmental protection; and the differentiation it introduces between hazardous and non hazardous waste is along with the differentiation between recovery and disposal laid down in the Waste Framework Directive a key element of waste management policy.

The elaboration of the Strategy on Prevention and Recycling on Waste includes an assessment of existing waste policies. In this regard the Hazardous Waste Directive will undergo a detailed examination.

One objective of this review is to improve waste legislation by simplifying it. Therefore the strong connection between the provisions on waste and those exclusively applied to hazardous waste might justify their integration into one Directive.

With the intention of preparing a future Commission position on this subject we have formulated the following questions on which we would welcome your comments.

Handling

Please respect our instructions for responding to the questionnaire.

Please send your comments to:

European Commission
Deadline for comments: (12/03/2005)
Martin Pohlmann
Environment Directorate-General/G4
B - 1049 Brussels

e-mail: env-hazardous-waste@ec.europa.eu

Question 1

Most provisions of the Hazardous Waste Directive may be directly affected by the revision of the Waste Framework Directive (see annex 1). Therefore it is justified to examine whether the Hazardous Waste Directive should be integrated into the revised Waste Framework Directive.

Do you consider it as appropriate to integrate the provisions of the Hazardous Waste Directive into the Waste Framework Directive?

Question 2

It can be argued that some provisions of the Hazardous Waste Directive have become obsolete as a result of developments in EU legislation or difficult to justify from an environmental point of view (see annex 2).

Do you consider any provision of Hazardous Waste Directive to be obsolete? If yes, which one(s)?

Question 3

It appears that some provisions of the Hazardous Waste Directive led to diverging interpretations by the Member States. This can impede their proper implementation (see annex 3).

Are you aware of different interpretations? If so, do you consider that any provisions need to be revised? Which ones?

Question 4

Article 2 (2) of the hazardous waste Directive requires that establishments and undertakings which dispose of, recover collect or transport hazardous waste do not mix different hazardous waste categories or mix hazardous waste with non-hazardous waste. Article 2(3) provides for derogations from this paragraph, where the conditions laid down in Article 4 of Directive 75/442/EEC are complied with and in particular for the purpose of improving safety during disposal. Such an operation is subject to the permit requirements laid down in Articles 9, 10 and 11 of Directive 75/442/EEC.

Both the mixing ban and its derogation clause raise the following questions:

  • The (waste) categories referred to are not defined and not compatible with the structure of the European Waste List;
  • The term “safety” is not used in article 4 of Directive 75/442/EEC or in other waste legislation; it could be understood as tightening up or detailing the requirements laid down in Article 4;
  • The term “safety” is not clearly linked with the environmental impacts of a mixing operation.
  • It can be questioned why the operation must improve the safety, meaning that operations which maintain the same level of safety are not allowed.

On the other hand, there are reasons for carrying out mixing operations cautiously. Otherwise dangerous substances may be mixed with the sole purpose to comply with concentration limits leading to unnecessary releases into the environment. Furthermore the mixing can impede the coming out of subsequent recovery operations with a lesser environmental impact.

Should the reference documents to determine best available techniques in accordance with Directive 96/61/EC concerning integrated pollution prevention control specifically address the mixing of waste or should special guidance on this issue be developed?

 

Should the Directive ban the mixing of hazardous waste where this increases the environmental impact of the waste?

Annex 1: Provisions of Directive 91/689/EEC on hazardous waste closely connected with Directive 75/442 on waste 

Art.

Indent

Content

Comment

1

1

Objective

Direct link with the Waste Directive (WD)

 

2

Scope

Fraction of the scope of the WD

 

3

Waste definition

Copy of WD definition

 

4

Hazardous Waste (HW) definition: wastes with one ore more properties listed in Annex III and featuring on a list based on Annex I and II

Waste list intrinsically linked with WD (list on non hazardous waste required under WD and list on hazardous waste required under the HW Directive are merged in one list);

Waste list refers to annex III

3

1

Deletion of permit requirement derogation for those who carry out HW disposal on their own

Directly linked with discussions under the WD

 

2 – 4

Restriction of permit requirement derogation for waste recoverers, notification of exemptions to COM

Directly linked with discussions under the WD

4

1

Inspection requirement extension to HW producers

Directly linked with discussions under the WD

 

2

Register requirement extension to HW producers and transporters

Directly linked with discussions under WD

 

3

Preservation of records by transporters

Directly linked with discussions under WD

5

2

Extension of inspections to origin and destination of HW

Directly linked with discussions under the WD

6

1

HW management plans (separately or in the framework of general waste management plans)

Directly linked with discussions under WD

8

1

MS reports on implementation

Linked with overall assessment of reporting obligations

 

2

COM reports on implementation every three years

Linked with overall assessment of reporting obligations

9

-

Adoption of Annexes to scientific and technical progress and revising the waste list by commitology

Refers to procedure set in WD

10

1 – 3

Adoption deadline and communication to Commission

Undisputed

11

-

Repeal of Dir. 78/319

Undisputed

12

-

Dir. addresses MS

Undisputed

Annex III

Properties of wastes which render them hazardous

Referred to in Article 1 (4);

Annex 2: Provisions of Directive 91/689/EEC on hazardous waste, which might have become obsolete or for which a clear environmental rationale has been questioned  

Art.

Indent

Content

Comment

1

4

HW definition: wastes with one ore more properties listed in Annex III and featuring on a list based on Annex I and II

Waste list has been drawn up by Decision 2000/532/EC; therefore Annex I and II might be non-essential

 

1

5

(see also annex 3)

Domestic waste: Commission obligation to propose specific rules

The recent Directives on specific waste streams containing hazardous substances (WEEE/RoHS; ELV, Batteries, PCBs) might no longer justify specific rules on domestic waste;

2

1

Tipping (discharge) to be recorded

In principle obsolete by adoption of Dir 91/31/EC on the landfill of waste

6

2

COM to compare plans and make info available to MS

No information requests have been sent to the Commission lately; scope and method of comparison is unclear

 

 

3

MS to send information on HW installations to COM

Burdensome, not proportionate to possible environmental benefit (MS lately have not requested information on HW installations)

Repeal has been already included in proposal for Regulation on E-PRTR

Annex I

Categories of generic types of HW listed according to their nature of activity

Referred to in Article 1(4); might be non-essential (see above)

Annex II

Constituents of the wastes in annex I.B., which render them hazardous

Referred to in Article 1(4); might be non-essential (see above)

Annex 3: Unclear provisions of Directive 91/689/EEC on hazardous waste

Art.

Indent

Content

Comment

1

5 (see also annex 2)

Domestic waste exemption from the Directive

The underlying issue is not to exempt the entire waste stream from the Directive, but to exempt households (from the record keeping requirements and inspections by the competent authorities)

2

2

Separation requirement for mixed wastes, where technically and economically feasible and necessary to comply with Art. 4

Due to the restrictive conditions the provision is practically inapplicable

2

3

Derogation from Art. 2(2), if compliance with Art. 4 WD and in particular to improve safety during disposal or recovery

Unclear reference;

→ cross reference to Directive 67/548/EC (and Directive 1999/45/EC) on the approximation of laws, regulations and administrative provisions relating to the classification, packaging and labelling of dangerous substances (and preparations) the should be inserted

5

3

Transports of waste to be accompanied by an identification form

Reference to Directive 84/631/EEC is obsolete, because it is repealed by Regulation No 259/93, which refers to a standard consignment note (the requirements are laid down in Commission Decision 94/774/EC);

7

1

Temporary derogation possibility of the Directive in cases of emergency or grave danger

Vague wording with unclear practical implications; The following options should be considered:

  • a more restrictive exemption from the permitting obligations of on-site disposal or recovery operations in cases of emergency or grave danger
  • no exemption