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Controlled management of hazardous waste (until the end of 2010)

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The European Union lays down a framework for the management, recovery and correct disposal of waste considered to be hazardous.

ACT

Council Directive 91/689/EEC of 12 December 1991 on hazardous waste [See amending acts].

SUMMARY

This Directive introduces a precise and uniform definition of hazardous waste and aims to ensure ecologically sound management of this waste flow. It supplements the Framework Directive on Waste (Directive 2006/16/EC) by setting new controls on hazardous waste management, specifically requirements related to traceability, forbidding the mixing of hazardous waste with other waste and the obligation to inform the Commission of waste which has hazardous properties, but which is not listed as such.

The list of hazardous wastes covered by the Directive has been drawn up on the basis of the categories *, constituents and properties set out in the Annexes to the Directive. Domestic waste is not covered by the Directive. The Annexes can be amended in the light of scientific and technical progress.

The Member States are to ensure that hazardous waste is recorded and identified. They must also ensure that different categories of hazardous waste are not mixed and that hazardous waste is not mixed with non-hazardous waste, save where the necessary measures have been taken to safeguard human health and the environment.

Any establishment or undertaking that carries out disposal operations must obtain a permit. This also applies in the case of operations that may lead to recovery, although this requirement may be waived where the recovery method poses no danger to human health or to the environment or if the Member State has adopted and notified to the Commission general measures laying down conditions for the recovery method concerned.

Establishments or undertakings carrying out disposal operations or operations that may lead to the recovery of hazardous waste and producers of such waste are subject to periodic inspections covering in particular the origin and destination of the waste. Transporters, producers, establishments and undertakings are to keep a record of their activities and make this information available to the competent authorities designated by each Member State.

The competent authorities must publish plans for the management of hazardous waste, to be evaluated by the Commission.

In the event of an emergency or a grave danger, Member States may derogate temporarily from the Directive so that hazardous waste does not pose a threat to the population or the environment. They must inform the Commission of such derogations.

8.Regulation (EC) No 166/2006 which establishes a European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (PRTR), harmonises the rules on the regular reporting of information on pollutants, including waste, by Member States to the Commission.

This Directive is repealed by Directive 2008/98/EC with effect from 12 December 2010.

REFERENCES

Act Entry into force - Date of expiry Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Directive 91/689/EEC

19.12.1991

27.6.1995

OJ L 377 of 31.12.1991

Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Directive 94/31/EC

22.7.1994

-

OJ L 168 of 2.7.1994

Regulation (EC) No 166/2006

24.2.2006

-

OJ L 33 of 4.2.2006

Directive 2008/98/EC

12.12.2008

-

OJ L 312 of 22.11.2008

The successive amendments and corrections to Directive 91/689/EEC have been incorporated into the original text. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.

RELATED ACTS

Commission Decision 96/302/EC of 17 April 1996 establishing a format in which information is to be provided pursuant to Article 8(3) of Council Directive 91/689/EEC [Official Journal L 116 of 11.5.1996].

Commission Decision 97/622/EC of 27 May 1997 concerning questionnaires for Member States reports on the implementation of certain Directives in the waste sector (implementation of Council Directive 91/692/EEC) [Official Journal L 256, 19.9.1997].
See consolidated version

Application of legislation

Report from the Commission of 20 November 2009 on implementation of the community waste legislation Directive 2006/12/EC on waste, Directive 91/689/EEC on hazardous waste, Directive 75/439/EEC on waste oils, Directive 86/278/EEC on sewage sludge, Directive 94/62/EC on packaging and packaging waste, Directive 1999/31/EC on the landfill of waste and Directive 2002/96/EC on waste electrical and electronic equipment for the period 2004-2006 [COM(2009) 633 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
The responses of Member States were in some cases insufficiently precise to state whether the Directive has been properly implemented. In particular, there are doubts as regards the enforcement of the mixing ban and the related exemptions from this ban and permit requirements. The regularity of inspections was not ensured by several Member States. There are also concerns as regards the reporting requirements for producers. One case of the lack of clear rules for packaging and labelling of hazardous waste was identified that requires further follow-up.

Report from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 19 July 2006 on implementation of the Community waste legislation: Directive 75/442/EEC on waste, Directive 91/689/EEC on hazardous waste, Directive 75/439/EEC on waste oils, Directive 86/278/EEC on sewage sludge, Directive 94/62/EC on packaging and packaging waste and Directive 1999/31/EC on the landfill of waste for the period 2001-2003 [COM(2006) 406 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
In this report the Commission indicates that the generation of hazardous waste has increased, that landfilling is the predominant method of disposal (26% on average), and that the average recycling rate is 21%. All the Member States have transposed the provisions of the directive and carry out periodic inspections. The frequency of inspections varies and depends on the type and quantity of waste and the type of plant concerned. In most Member States hazardous waste is covered by the general waste management plans adopted under the framework directive on waste.

Report from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 19 May 2003 on the implementation of Community waste Legislation Directive 75/442/EEC on waste, Directive 91/689/EEC on hazardous waste, Directive 75/439/EEC on waste oils, Directive 86/278/EEC on sewage sludge and Directive 94/62/EC on packaging and packaging waste - For the period 1998-2000 [COM(2003) 250 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
This report indicates a levelling-off in the generation of hazardous waste. The average recycling rate for hazardous waste is 27%, while the average landfilling rate is 22%. Most Member States have notified the Commission of waste which, in their opinion, is hazardous.

Commission Report to the Council and the European Parliament of 10 January 2000 on the implementation of Community waste legislation for the period 1995-1997 (Directives 75/442/EEC, 91/689/EEC, 75/439/EEC, 86/278/EEC) [COM(1999) 752 final].
In this report, the Commission notes that most of the Member States have not correctly transposed the Directive on hazardous waste, while some have not drawn up a list to supplement the one detailing hazardous waste already established by the Commission.

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 27 February 1997 concerning the application of Directives 75/439/EEC, 75/442/EEC, 78/319/EEC and 86/278/EEC on waste management [COM(97) 23 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

List of waste and hazardous waste

Commission Decision 2000/532/EC of 3 May 2000 replacing Decision 94/3/EC establishing a list of wastes pursuant to Article 1(a) of Council Directive 75/442/EEC on waste and Council Decision 94/904/EC establishing a list of hazardous waste pursuant to Article 1(4) of Council Directive 91/689/EEC on hazardous waste [Official Journal L 226 of 06.09.2000]
See consolidated version
.

Last updated: 25.02.2010
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