European Waste Codes, Tardis unravels some red tape

Companies who produce waste are required to comply with certain laws and standards which relates to and categorises the waste they are producing.

Waste classification is based on The List of Waste which, a reference document providing common terminology throughout the EEC having the purpose of improving the efficiency of waste management activities.

The List of Waste (LOW) serves as a common encoding of waste characteristics.

The classification of waste and assignment of codes for identification purposes has had a major impact on the transport recycling and disposal of waste.

In layman’s terms, if you are a regular generator of trade or industrial waste which has to be disposed of, then Duty of Care legislation makes it a legal requirement you identify your waste (using the LOW) and assign the relevant six figure code on your waste transfer note.

This includes hazardous waste.

The LOW has 20 chapters some of which are industry specific, though a few are generic.

It is important to note that a transfer note should also contain a written description of the waste in addition to the EWC code. For example 20 03 01 (mixed municipal waste), should be accompanied by a description which might read “ General non hazardous waste from light engineering, consisting of waste paper, metal, cardboard, plastic packaging and floor sweepings”.

This would provide adequate code and description for the waste.

Help on identifying your waste can be obtained online from a variety of sources:

https://www.gov.uk/how-to-classify-different-types-of-waste/overview Government site

Scottish environmental Protection Agency SEPA http://www.sepa.org.uk/waste/waste_data/reporting_definitions_and_term/coding_systems.aspx

List of Waste guide

https://www.hesa.ac.uk/dox/datacoll/c09042/LOW_Guide_v1_2_%28sustainability%29.pdf

Premises code

Where hazardous waste is being disposed of, you must also provide a premises code for the site the waste originates from. You do this via a registration process. See this gov.uk link for help https://www.gov.uk/hazardous-waste-producer-registration

SIC Standard Industrial Clarification

First introduced in 1948, the codes are intended for classification of businesses by type of economic activity in which they are engaged. You can refer to the Companies House list to guide you if you don’t know or have your code. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/standard-industrial-classification-of-economic-activities-sic

To summarise, if you are disposing of hazardous waste, you must complete a duty of care waste transfer note (see the example below) – The Hazardous Waste Consignment note is also shown (this is a three part document).

All examples are clickable to open the full sized PDF

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Our waste transfer note is shown as an example

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For those struggling to make sense of the form filling, you can telephone the Environment Agency on 03708 506 506 and of course we can offer our clients help where forms are being prepared for waste being handled by us.

 

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