Big shift needed to avoid hazardous waste disposal gap

Publishing new data on hazardous waste, the Anglo-Welsh Environment Agency welcomed the announcement by the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) of the setting up of an Advisory Forum on Hazardous Waste. With growing hazardous waste streams and landfill capacity set to reduce dramatically, the Agency said the Forum would be critical in driving minimisation and treatment strategies to avoid a gap opening between the amount of hazardous waste produced and available disposal capacity. The Environment Agency will participate fully in the new Forum.

New data shows that nearly 5.2 million tonnes of hazardous waste were consigned to disposal or recovery in England and Wales in 2000. The low cost of landfill has led to over dependency on this cheap option. The Landfill Directive is a key driver for change. Landfill capacity for hazardous wastes will plummet after July 2004.

Environment Agency data shows that landfilling of hazardous waste dropped by just 6% between 1998/9 and 2000. Of the 5.2 million tonnes of hazardous waste recorded for England and Wales in 2000:

21% was oil and oil/water mixtures

20% was construction and demolition waste (contaminated soils etc) and asbestos 11% was waste from organic chemical processes

A further 14% of hazardous waste in 2000 fell into the EWC category ‘not otherwise specified’, the majority of which was ballast water, tank cleaning and oil rig clean-up liquid wastes from ship-to-shore pipelines. Approximately 40% (roughly two million tonnes) of hazardous waste in England and Wales was landfilled in 2000, 30% received some form of treatment, 19% was recycled or re-used, the fate of 8% was recorded as transfer (short term) and 3 % was incinerated.

Most hazardous waste in 2000 originated from the main industrial regions of England – the north west, Yorkshire, West Midlands and the Humber area. The south east accounted for high levels of hazardous construction and demolition waste and asbestos. In Wales, 70% of hazardous waste produced was accounted for by ship-to-shore consignments in the south west Wales area.

Landfilling of hazardous waste in England and Wales fell by about 6% (equivalent to 300,000 tonnes) in 2000 compared with 1998/9. Recycling of hazardous waste in 2000 was almost double the amount in 1998/9.

Detailed information on hazardous waste production and disposal in England and Wales, including charts and diagrams, can be found on the Environment Agency website at

Ano da Publicação: 2002
Fonte: Warmer Bulletin Enews #46-2002
Autor: Kit Strange, Warmer Bulletin
Email do Autor:

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