New guide to explain common waste classification errors

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Glass Collection (Photo: Austria Glas Recycling)

London, UK — The waste and resource management industry has published an easy to use guide on common misconceptions in waste classification and how to avoid them. Entitled “Misclassification of Waste- and how to avoid it”, the guide is aimed at waste producers, carriers, brokers, consultants and managers – in fact all those who have to make day to day decisions on waste classification.

The guide was prepared by the Waste Industry Group on Waste Classification comprising experts nominated by ESA and CIWM, plus representatives of the Environment Agency.

The note lists the most common mistakes in waste classification, explains why they are wrong, and sets out what to do about. It covers categories such as waste acceptance criteria (WAC), list of Waste/EWC codes, laboratory analytical suites and hazard property codes, as well as waste types such as metals, hydrocarbons, and inert wastes.

For Dr Gene Wilson, chair of the waste industry classification group which produced the guide, misclassification of waste is one of the most serious issues facing our sector: „Where it is done deliberately, to avoid proper waste treatment, the regulator needs to step in and take firm enforcement action. But often misclassification can be accidental, and here the industry itself has a responsibility to ensure that all involved are competent for the task and classify waste as accurately as possible. That is why ESA, working with its partners in the waste industry classification group, has produced this guide on how to avoid the most common classification errors.”

The new guide, which has been welcomed by the Environment Agency, will be hosted on the websites of the Environmental Services Association (ESA), CIWM, and the Right Waste Right Place campaign. It can be found under esauk.org. The guide makes reference to the official guidance on waste classification from the four UK Environment Agencies, known as WM3, which can be found via gov.uk.

Source: Environmental Services Association