New Technical Guidance for Waste Classification

13 July 2015 by CSG

The way waste is assessed and classified in the United Kingdom has changed significantly and Environmental Agency guidance document WM3 is now in force, replacing WM2. This new document has been produced as a result of several changes to the law which include amendments to the List of Waste (or European Waste Catalogue), a major revision of hazardous properties and the adoption of a new system of chemical classification.

The assessment and classification of waste is based upon the List of Waste decision (2000/532/EC) and Annex III of the Waste Directive (2008/98/EC).

These in turn rely on chemical legislation for information on chemicals given in the Dangerous Substances Directive (67/548/EC) and the Dangerous Preparations Directive (1999/45/EC).

What are the changes from WM2?

Below, we list the changes made to the guidance document and what’s been kept consistent by the EA.

Chapter 1: Legal Background.

There are no significant changes to chapter 1.

Chapter 2: Provides a framework that explains how to assess and classify waste.

This has been updated and includes: –

  • Clarification that the framework applies to the assessment and classification of waste.
  • Clarification on how the guidance applies to mining waste.
  • Included a persistent organic pollutants step in the assessment.
  • Updated references, tables and examples to hazard classes, categories and statement codes.
  • Updated references to the Appendices and their content to reflect any revisions made to them.

Chapter 3: Further guidance on assessment

There are no significant changes to chapter 3.

To read the full Technical Guidance WM3 document, click here.

What do you think? Does the WM3 make the classification of waste easier or more complicated? Leave your comments below.