Waste types

Waste types


Wastes are classifed by a uniform system in Europe, using the EWC, the European Waste Code system (1, 2).

2000/532/EC, commission decision of 3 May 2000 on the list of wastes.  List of wastes pursuant to Article 1(a) of Directive 75/442/EEC on waste and Article 1(4) of Directive 91/689/EEC on hazardous waste.
The present list is a harmonised list of wastes. It will be periodically reviewed and if necessary revised in accordance with Article 18 of Directive 75/442/EEC. However, the inclusion of a material in the list does not mean that the material is a waste in all circumstances. Materials are considered to be waste only where the definition of waste in Article 1(a) of Directive 75/442/EEC is met. Wastes included in the list are subject to the provisions of Directive 75/442/EEC except where Article 2(1)(b) of this Directive applies.

The different types of waste in the list are fully defined by the six-digit code for the waste and the respective two-digit and four-digit chapter headings. This implies that the following steps should be taken to identify a waste in the list.

As the first step, identify the source generating the waste in Chapters 01 to 12 or 17 to 20 and identify the appropriate six-digit code of the waste. If no appropriate waste code can be found in Chapters 01 to 12 or 17 to 20 the Chapters 13, 14 and 15 must be examined to identify the waste. If none of these waste codes apply, the waste must be identified according to Chapter 16. If the waste is not in Chapter 16 either, the 99 code (wastes not otherwise specified) must be used in the section of the list corresponding to the activity identified in step one.
Any waste marked with an asterisk (*) is considered as a hazardous waste pursuant to Article 1(4), first indent, of Directive 91/689/EEC on hazardous waste, and subject to the provisions of that Directive unless Article 1(5) of that Directive applies.

For the purpose of this Decision, ‘dangerous substance’ means any substance that has been or will be classified as dangerous in Directive 67/548/EEC as amended; ‘heavy metal’ means any compound of antimony, arsenic, cadmium, chromium (VI), copper, lead, mercury, nickel, selenium, tellurium, thallium and tin, including these metals in metallic form, as far as these are classified as dangerous substances. If a waste is identified as hazardous by a specific or general reference to dangerous substances, the waste is hazardous only if the concentrations of those substances are such (i.e. percentage by weight) that the waste presents one or more of the properties listed in Annex III to Council Directive 91/689/EEC.

Chapters of the list (two-digit codes):

  • 01 Wastes resulting from exploration, mining, dressing and further treatment of minerals and quarry
  • 02 Wastes from agricultural, horticultural, hunting, fishing and aquacultural primary production, food preparation and
  • processing
  • 03 Wastes from wood processing and the production of paper, cardboard, pulp, panels and furniture
  • 04 Wastes from the leather, fur and textile industries
  • 05 Wastes from petroleum refining, natural gas purification and pyrolytic treatment of coal
  • 06 Wastes from inorganic chemical processes
  • 07 Wastes from organic chemical processes
  • 08 Wastes from the manufacture, formulation, supply and use (MFSU) of coatings (paints, varnishes and vitreous
  • enamels), adhesives, sealants and printing inks
  • 09 Wastes from the photographic industry
  • 10 Inorganic wastes from thermal processes
  • 11 Inorganic metal-containing wastes from metal treatment and the coating of metals, and non-ferrous hydrometallurgy
  • 12 Wastes from shaping and surface treatment of metals and plastics
  • 13 Oil wastes (except edible oils, 05 anbd 12)
  • 14 Wastes from organic substances used as solvents (except 07 and 08)
  • 15 Waste packaging; absorbents, wiping cloths, filter materials and protective clothing not otherwise specified
  • 16 Wastes not otherwise specified in the list
  • 17 Construction and demolition wastes (including road construction)
  • 18 Wastes from human or animal health care and/or related research (except kitchen and restaurant wastes not arising
  • from immediate health care)
  • 19 Wastes from waste treatment facilities, off-site waste water treatment plants and the water industry
  • 20 Municipal wastes and similar commercial, industrial and institutional wastes including separately collected fractions.


Waste  comes in many different forms.The priority waste types are enlisted here (3):

  • Solid Wastes
  • Gaseous Wastes
  • Animal by-products
  • Biodegradable waste
  • Biomedical waste
  • Bulky waste
  • Business waste
  • Chemical waste
  • Clinical waste
  • Coffee wastewater
  • Commercial waste
  • Construction and demolition waste (C&D waste)
  • Controlled waste
  • Consumable waste
  • Composite waste
  • Demolition waste
  • Domestic waste
  • Electronic waste (e-waste)
  • Food waste
  • Green waste
  • Grey water
  • Hazardous waste
  • Mineral waste
  • Household waste
    • Household hazardous waste
  • Human waste
    • sewage sludge
  • Industrial waste
    • slag
    • fly ash
    • sludge
  • Inert waste
  • Kitchen waste
  • Litter
  • Liquid waste
  • Medical waste
  • Metabolic waste
  • Mixed waste
  • Municipal solid waste
  • Packaging waste
  • Post-consumer waste
  • Radioactive waste (nuclear waste)
    • Low level waste
    • High level waste
    • Spent nuclear fuel
    • Mixed waste (radioactive/hazardous)
  • Recyclable waste
  • Residual waste
  • Retail hazardous waste
  • Sewage
  • Sharps waste
  • Slaughterhouse waste
  • Space waste
  • Special waste - see hazardous waste
  • Toxic waste
  • Uncontrolled waste
  • Waste heat
  • Wastewater
  • Winery wastewater

(1) http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2000:226:0003:0024:EN:PDF

(2) MOKKA Glossary: http://enfo.agt.bme.hu/mokka/secure/.tmp/glossary/glossrec.php?rec=1169

(3) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_waste_types