Hazardous wastes pose a greater risk to the environment and human health than non-hazardous waste and thus require a stricter control regime. This is laid down in particular in Articles 17 to 20 of Directive 2008/98/EC. It provides additional labelling, record keeping, monitoring and control obligations from the "cradle to the grave", i.e. from the waste production to the final disposal or recovery. In addition, mixing of hazardous waste is banned to prevent risks for the environment and human health. Moreover, Article 24 permit exemptions that may be granted to installations are more restrictive when treating hazardous waste.
The classification into hazardous and non-hazardous waste is based on the system for the classification and labelling of dangerous substances and preparations, which ensures the application of similar principles over the whole life cycle of materials. The properties which render waste hazardous are laid down in Annex III of Directive 2008/98/EC and are further specified by the Decision 2000/532/EC establishing a List of Waste, as last amended by Commission Decision 2014/955/EU. Guidance on waste classification is also available.