Classification of Environmental Protection Activities and Expenditure (2000)

Code:  3
Description:  Waste management
Explanatory notes:  Waste management refers to activities and measures aimed at the prevention of the generation of waste and the reduction of its harmful effect on the environment. Includes the collection and treatment of waste, including monitoring and regulation activities. It also includes recycling and composting, the collection and treatment of low level radioactive waste, street cleaning and the collection of public litter.

Waste are materials that are not prime products (that is, products made for the market) for which the generator has no further use for own purposes of production, transformation, or consumption, and which he wants to dispose of. Wastes may be generated during the extraction of raw materials, during the processing of raw materials to intermediate and final products, during the consumption of final products, and during any other human activity. Residuals recycled or reused at the place of generation are excluded. Also excluded are waste materials that are directly discharged into ambient water or air.

Hazardous waste is waste that due to its toxic, infectious, radioactive, flammable or other character defined by the legislator poses a substantial actual or potential hazard to human health or living organisms. For the purposes of this definition, "hazardous waste" comprises for each country all those materials and products which are considered to be hazardous in accordance with that country's practices. Low level radioactive waste is included, whereas other radioactive waste is excluded (see CEPA 7).

Low level radioactive waste is waste that, because of its low radionucleide content, does not require shielding during normal handling and transportation.


Treatment of waste refers to any process designed to change the physical, chemical, or biological character or composition of any waste to neutralise it, render it non-hazardous, safer for transport, amenable for recovery or storage, or to reduce it in volume. A particular waste may undergo more than one treatment process.

Composting and recycling activities for the purpose of environmental protection are included. Often composting is a waste treatment method and the resulting compost provided free of charge or at a very low price. The manufacture of compost classified in division 24 of ISIC/NACE (Manufacture of fertilisers and nitrogen compounds) is excluded.

Division 37 of ISIC/NACE defines recycling as "the processing of waste, scraps whether or not used, into a form feasible to be transformed in new raw materials. Typical is that, in terms of commodities, both input and output consist of waste and scrap, the input being sorted or unsorted but always unfit for further direct use in an industrial process whereas the output is made fit for further processing and is to be considered then as an intermediate good. A process is required, either mechanical or chemical". The main purpose of activities classified in division 37 of ISIC/NACE is the manufacture of secondary raw materials but there may be important secondary waste management activities.

Compost and secondary raw materials (as well as products made of secondary raw materials) are not considered environmental protection products. Their use is excluded.

Disposal of waste is the final deposition of waste on or underground in controlled or uncontrolled fashion, in accordance with the sanitary, environmental or security requirements.