The Hazardous Waste (Regulation of Exports and Imports) Act 1989, which covers hazardous waste only, defines hazardous waste as:
- Waste prescribed by the regulations, where the waste has any of the characteristics mentioned in Annex III to the Basel Convention. These characteristics include:
- Flammable Liquids/Solids
- Infectious Substances.
- Wastes that belong to any category contained in Annex I to the Basel Convention , unless they do not possess any of the hazardous characteristics contained in Annex III. Wastes in Annex I include:
- Clinical wastes;
- Waste oils/water, hydrocarbons/water mixtures, emulsions;
- Wastes from the production, formulation and use of resins, latex, plasticizers, glues/adhesives;
- Wastes resulting from surface treatment of metals and plastics;
- Residues arising from industrial waste disposal operations; and
- Wastes which contain certain compounds such as: copper, zinc, cadmium, mercury, lead and asbestos.
- Household waste; or
- Residues arising from the incineration of household waste.
Copies of Annex 1 and Annex III to the Basel Convention can be found in the Hazardous Waste (Regulation of Exports and Imports) Act 1989.
Waste specific guidance
Waste specific guidance is available for some materials:
For some materials, their status as a hazardous waste is not obvious. Under the Act, the Minister may issue an evidentiary certificate stating that a specified substance is, or is not, a hazardous waste. Before issuing such a certificate, the Minister must seek expert advice from the Hazardous Waste Technical Group.
To date, evidentiary certificates have been made for: