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Hazardous waste

Hazardous waste is defined in the European Waste Catalogue and the List of Wastes (England) Regulations 2005 (View links to the equivalent Welsh regulations, check your local position if you live in Scotland or Northern Ireland). Items which were not previously considered as hazardous waste have now been included in the catalogue. These include:

  • paints, inks and resins
  • oil filters
  • fluorescent tubes
  • contaminated packaging residues
  • detergents containing hazardous substances
  • batteries and discarded electrical equipment, such as TVs and computer monitors, fridges and freezers

From 2005, changes have been made to the way in which hazardous waste is disposed of: first, hazardous waste must be pre-treated before it can be landfilled. Further, standards known as the Waste Acceptance Criteria have been introduced to control the type of waste that can be landfilled. An earlier 2004 ban also prohibits the co-disposal of hazardous waste with non-hazardous waste in landfills. These measures have significantly reduced the amount of hazardous waste going to landfill.

Domestic Hazardous Waste

Although it is still possible to dispose of a small amount of hazardous waste (excluding asbestos) through the normal waste collection system, larger quantities must be disposed of in specially managed waste facilities. Please note that asbestos waste always requires special collection and should not be placed in the bin. Your local authority would be able to provide more information on this.

Commercial Hazardous Waste

Stricter measures apply to businesses and other institutions that produce or generate hazardous waste. Follow the Gov.UK related links (top right) for more information.

Legislation and Policy


Directive 2008/98/EC on waste (Waste Framework Directive 2008)

Waste list Decision 2000/532/EC


The Hazardous Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2005

The List of Wastes (England) Regulations 2005

The List of Wastes (Wales) Regulations 2005

Hazardous Waste Regulations (Wales) 2005 SI 1806

Hazardous Waste (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2009 SI 2861

Hazardous Waste (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2009 SI 507

Waste (England & Wales) Regulations 2011

Waste (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Wales) Regulations 2011

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