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C L Hand
Freelance writer and editor, London, UK
Keywords: Audit, contractor, disposal, Duty of Care, hierarchy, procedures, recovery, safety,
storage, transport
1. General principles
2. Practical guidance
Related Chapters
Biographical Sketch
This article gives practical guidance on waste management to industrial waste producers. It
will be particulary helpful to smaller companies or those which do not already have a detailed
environmental policy. Section 1 reviews current trends in waste management policy, with
particular reference to Europe. By putting into practice principles such as the Duty of Care
and producer responsibility, waste producers can avoid prosecution, prevent environmental
damage and conserve resources. The key elements of a company waste management strategy
are listed: as a general guide, a waste strategy should seek to divert waste from disposal into
more sustainable options such as recycling and recovery.
Section 2 gives concise practical guidelines, focusing on
a) the management of waste on the producers premises, looking at safe storage, handling and
transportation, and
b) selecting the Best Practicable Environmental Option for waste management, whether reuse,
recycling, energy recovery, incineration or landfill. Examples are given of wastes from the
chemical industry.
Two sample audit checklists are included, one for on-site waste management and one for the
evaluation of potential disposal contractors.
1. General principles
1.1 Introduction
Waste, by definition, is something that the producer no longer requires and therefore discards.
In many industrial economies, the traditional approach to waste has been to dispose of it as
cheaply as possible, without much concern as to what happens once the waste leaves the
producers premises. This attitude is now changing as greater environmental awareness is
reflected in more stringent waste management legislation and a genuine desire on the part of
industry to improve environmental performance and meet customers expectations.

The environmental risks associated with poor waste management are well known and
understood. Fly tipped wastes can poison and injure children and animals as well as creating
an eyesore. Carelessly disposed of liquid wastes, such as solvents, can leach into the
groundwater and contaminate drinking water supplies. Poorly planned and managed landfills
will create a significant neighborhood nuisance, and where landfill gas and leachate are not
properly treated there will be a serious threat to the safety of local residents. Old, closed
dumps and landfills are likely to be contaminated land which may be difficult or dangerous to
remediate and redevelop. Incinerators operated without adequate pollution abatement
equipment will release highly toxic dioxins. Even recycling and composting facilities can be a
source of litter and unpleasant odor if not properly regulated. Waste producers carry their
share of responsibility to ensure that such polluting incidents do not occur.
What is often overlooked by manufacturers is that waste is not only a potential source of
environmental damage, but also represents a waste of their resources raw materials, energy,
water, etc. By reducing, reusing and recycling waste, manufacturers can cut costs
considerably, create a cleaner and safer working environment and perhaps even improve the
quality and safety of their product. The benefits of waste minimization are set out in more
detail in Topic 4.13.3.
Good waste management protects the environment and improves profitability but for those
who are not sufficiently motivated by these incentives, increasingly stringent national and
international legislation is compelling many producers to review their waste procedures. In
countries such as the UK and USA, the most severe waste offences are punishable by prison
Some examples of recent waste legislation from the European Union are:

the Waste Framework Directive, which requires all waste to be disposed of

without harm to the environment or human health, demands that waste
management facilities be licensed and regulated, and establishes a
comprehensive definition of waste which includes materials going for
the Landfill Directive, adopted in April 1999, which will bring an end to
the landfill disposal of many biodegradable wastes (seen by many as a
questionable aim) and raise the standard of landfill management across the
the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive, which obliges companies to
arrange for the recycling and recovery of significant quantities of the
packaging they handle.

In the UK, the Duty of Care and Special (hazardous) Waste legislation lays down
documentation requirements which enable consignments of waste to be tracked "from cradle
to grave" a great help in preventing fly tipping.
A fourth driver towards the more conscientious management of industrial waste is the
growing popularity of environmental management systems such as ISO 14001 and the
European eco-management and audit scheme (EMAS). Accreditation to one of these systems
indicates that a company has a well-planned and documented set of environmental
procedures, and in the case of EMAS demonstrates ongoing improvement in environmental

performance. Waste management procedures will form a key element of any environmental
management system.
1.2 Elements of a waste management strategy
Good waste management involves much more than ensuring that wastes are safely and legally
disposed of. The aim should be to achieve the Best Practicable Environmental Option (BPEO)
for each waste stream.
A typical strategy for the management of industrial waste might contain the following

initial audit of wastes produced (source, quantity, composition and

hazards) and current waste management procedures
risk assessment to ensure that storage and handling procedures do not
present a health, safety or environmental risk
investigation of opportunities for waste reduction, reuse, recycling and
assessment of waste treatment options
determination of Best Practicable Environmental Option for disposal of
remaining wastes and treatment residues
audit of potential waste management contractors and selection of the
contractor offering the best service.

Practical guidance on storage, handling and disposal can be found in section 2 of this article.
For further information on waste reduction, reuse and recycling, see Waste Reduction, Reuse
and Recycling.
1.2.1 Choice of waste management option
European Union waste policy is built on the concept of the Waste Hierarchy, Figure 1. This
seeks to rank waste management options, with the most sustainable option being to avoid
producing the waste in the first place. Waste producers are urged to "move their wastes up the
hierarchy", for example by recycling instead of landfilling. Some European governments have
introduced economic instruments, such as taxes on landfill and incineration, to help facilitate
this movement.

Figure 1: The Waste Hierarchy

There has been much debate as to the position which energy-from-waste incineration should
occupy on the hierarchy, some putting it on a level with recycling while others press for it to
be classed as mere disposal. Likewise, there is debate as to whether composting constitutes
recycling or recovery. The important point to remember is that the hierarchy only provides a
general guide, and the waste producer should look carefully at the characteristics of each
waste stream before deciding on the BPEO. For some wastes, such as bulky, inert demolition
wastes, the most sustainable option is likely to be landfill, despite its position at the bottom of
the hierarchy. Geographical factors such as the distance to a reprocessing or energy-fromwaste plant will also help to determine the BPEO. (Another important environmental
principle, the Proximity Principle, directs that waste should be disposed of at the nearest
suitable facility.) Guidance on choosing a waste management option can be found in section
2.4 below.
1.3 Duty of Care
The Duty of Care is a principle taken from UK legislation which deserves more widespread
application. It requires everyone in the waste chain to do all that is reasonably practicable to
ensure that the waste they produce or handle does not produce environmental pollution or
harm to human health even once it has been handed over to someone else. The waste must
be accompanied by an accurate description, and it must not be allowed to escape at any stage
between production and final disposal.
Example of a waste chain
Producer Carrier Transfer station or treatment plant Disposal site
For the producer, this duty entails:
- packaging waste securely prior to collection

- ensuring that waste is only handed over to someone who is legally entitled to receive it, such
as a contractor whose site is licensed to receive industrial waste
- preparing a detailed description of the waste, including its hazards, which will accompany it
on its journey
- checking others in the waste chain, to ensure they are handling and disposing of the waste
correctly. This often involves auditing the disposal site as well as a routine checking of
1.4 Producer responsibility
The concept of producer responsibility lies behind the European Packaging Directive and
proposed Directives on end-of-life vehicles and waste electrical and electronic equipment.
While the Duty of Care requires waste producers to take responsibility for the safe transport,
treatment and disposal of their waste, producer responsibility goes one step further in obliging
manufacturers (and sometimes retailers) to arrange for the collection, recycling and recovery
of their products once they have been discarded by the consumer. The legislation also
stipulates that products should be manufactured in a way that facilitates recycling, for
example by excluding certain hazardous substances.
This legislation will place considerable burdens on manufacturers, but if its aims are achieved
it should conserve resources and improve efficiency in the economy as a whole.
Manufacturers can prepare for these new measures by assessing the recyclability of their
products and implementing "design for disassembly" designing products which will be easy
to dismantle and safe and economic to recycle. The European Commission is now seeking to
develop an "integrated product policy" based on life cycle assessment, which would
encourage designers and manufacturers to minimize the environmental impact of their
products at every stage from design and manufacture through use to final disposal.
2. Practical Guidance
2.1 Safe storage and handling of waste
If waste is not stored and handled in an appropriate manner it can present a hazard to the
health and safety of employees and the general public, as well as causing environmental
damage. The following general principles apply to all wastes. Additional requirements may be
set down in national legislation, particularly where hazardous wastes are involved. If the
company has an environmental policy, this should contain detailed guidelines for the storage
and handling of waste.
2.1.1 Segregation
As a minimum, hazardous and non-hazardous waste should be stored separately. Where large
quantities of waste are generated, the segregation of wastes into different types will facilitate
waste minimization by giving a clear picture of the size, nature and origin of each waste
stream. Disposal costs will be reduced if difficult wastes, requiring specialist handling or
disposal, are kept separate from ordinary office or shopfloor waste which can go by a cheaper
disposal route. Wastes intended for recycling should be kept completely separate from other
wastes to ensure they do not become contaminated.

The main obstacle to waste segregation is a lack of understanding and commitment from the
workforce. All waste receptacles should be clearly labeled, and all staff given adequate
training to ensure they know which receptacle to use for each type of waste. On-site
contractors should use their own receptacles wherever possible.
2.1.2 Containers
Waste containers must be compatible with the materials they are to contain. For example,
liquid wastes should not be placed in laundered drums whose seals have been destroyed, and
acid wastes should not be placed in easily-corroded metal containers. For most non-hazardous
industrial wastes, an enclosed wheeled bin or larger "roll on bin" is adequate. Bulky materials
are generally stored in skips: these should be properly monitored to ensure that workers do not
use them as a convenient receptacle for inappropriate or hazardous materials.
Where second hand containers, e.g. drums, are used as waste receptacles, the original labeling
must be removed or obliterated and any residues of the original material removed. The
containers must be sound and of good quality.
2.1.3 Waste storage areas
Waste awaiting collection should be stored in a dedicated area which is accessible to
authorized members of staff and the disposal contractors but secure from interference by the
public, especially children. It is vital to ensure that incompatible wastes such as acids and
metals - are kept separate.
The storage area should be covered by an impervious hardstanding material which is resistant
to corrosion, to prevent waste or percolating rainwater from entering the groundwater. If
liquid waste is stored, the area should be securely bunded. Floodlighting may be necessary if
staff require access during the hours of darkness.
Each container should be easily accessible so that it can be checked for leaks and
deterioration. There should be procedures in place to ensure that the storage time is kept to a
minimum, and that difficult wastes do not accumulate. The company waste manager should
keep records of the quantities of wastes stored, noting the dates on which each consignment is
taken to the storage area and subsequently collected by the contractor.
Where flammable wastes are being stored, a no smoking policy must be enforced.
2.1.4 Handling waste
Procedures for the safe handling of waste should form part of the company's health and safety
policy and will be based on a careful risk assessment. Some of the issues to consider are:
(a) are the labels on waste containers accurate and clearly visible?
(b) are containers carefully stacked to ensure they do not overbalance during handling and
(c) are lids securely fixed so that the waste cannot escape?
(d) is the driver of the collection vehicle aware of the hazards associated with the waste?

Those who handle waste, whether manually or as drivers of vehicles, should be provided with
appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE). For non-hazardous waste, the minimum
requirement would be overalls, PVC gloves or gauntlets, safety boots and safety glasses or
goggles. Where hazardous wastes are involved, additional equipment will be required, the
precise nature of which will depend on the hazard. For example, a driver handling flammable
liquid wastes would require nitrile gloves.
If hazardous wastes are handled, appropriate first aid and safety equipment must be made
available. This could include spillage kits, decontamination kits, fire extinguishers, emergency
showers and eyewash bottles.
2.2 Transportation of waste
The transport of hazardous waste is regulated by detailed national legislation in many
countries. Much of this legislation is based on international agreements such as the European
ADR agreement on the transport of dangerous goods by road. Its requirements cover:
- the construction and integrity of the waste container
- information to be included on the label
- placarding of vehicles
- safety measures and training requirements for drivers.
For non-hazardous wastes, the basic requirement is that the waste should not escape during
transit. The vehicle should be appropriate for the type of waste: for example, sludge-like
wastes are best transported in a tanker, as it offers better containment than a skip.
Before setting off, the driver should check that the waste consignment conforms with the
waste producer's description. One of the commonest causes of accidents at disposal facilities
is the incorrect description and labeling of hazardous materials by the waste producer.
2.3 Conducting a waste audit
Before any decision can be made about the best way to manage the waste from an industrial
installation, management must obtain accurate information about the source, properties and
volume of each waste stream. They also need to know how the waste is currently being dealt
with, and whether existing procedures represent good resource management and provide an
adequate level of environmental protection. This information should be gathered using a
carefully designed waste audit, which in many companies will form part of a wider
environmental audit.
A waste audit may be carried out by an individual employee, a team of representatives from
different departments or, where detailed technical information is required, by specialist
consultants. Depending on the size of the company and the nature of the waste, the aims of the
audit may be to:
a) ensure compliance with existing legislation
b) establish a baseline for an environmental management system or waste minimization
c) investigate opportunities for waste reduction, reuse and recycling

d) assess current standards of health, safety and environmental protection with a view to
future improvement
e) reduce waste disposal costs
The following simple questions could form the basis for an on-site waste audit.
Who is responsible for waste management?
There should be a named individual responsible for on-site waste management. In large
companies this may be an environmental or health and safety specialist, while in smaller
companies a production or line manager may take on responsibility for waste as an additional
duty. The waste manager must receive appropriate training and support.
Are wastes segregated into appropriate categories?
The importance of segregating different types of waste is discussed above. The waste audit
should establish whether staff are actually complying with segregation requirements.
Is waste stored and handled safely, and are suitable emergency procedures in place?
Section 2.2 above outlines the basic requirements of safe storage and handling.
Are employees given appropriate safety training?
The need for training in waste segregation, storage and handling has already been discussed.
Records should be kept to demonstrate that all relevant employees have been trained, and that
refresher courses are given at suitable intervals. Training is particularly important where
hazardous wastes are being handled and should cover:
- the nature of the hazards
- any special handling procedures (e.g. PPE)
- the dangers of mixing incompatible waste materials.
Are adequate records kept of all wastes?
A responsible waste producer will keep records containing details of:

source of each waste stream (department, area, product or process)

quantity of each waste consignment
dates of production and collection by the contractor
name of waste management contractor
method and cost of treatment, recovery or disposal.

Additional records may be required under national legislation. For example, waste producers
in the UK must keep copies of the consignment notes which are used to track the waste from
production to final disposal.
What procedures are in place for waste management and disposal?

It is advisable to have detailed written procedures covering segregation, containers, labeling,

handling and safety requirements for all waste. Additional procedures will be required for
hazardous wastes: for example, in EU Member States there should be a procedure to assess
whether a waste falls within the legal definition of "hazardous". Procedures should be
regularly reviewed and updated.
Larger waste producers are advised to draw up procedures for selecting and auditing
contractors (see section 2.5. below for guidance on engaging a contractor).
The audit should check that all employees with responsibility for waste are aware of the
relevant procedures.
How are waste management costs allocated?
Good accounting can be the first step to improving production efficiency and reducing waste
management costs. Rather than assigning all waste costs to one "waste disposal" or premises
management center, they should be allocated to the waste producing departments or products.
This will enable management to implement the polluter pays principle by including waste
disposal costs in the product price. Additionally, waste minimization initiatives can be
targeted at the products or processes for which disposal costs are highest.
Which wastes could be reused, recycled or recovered?
The audit should note which materials are already being reused or recovered, such as office
paper, metal drums, solvents and wooden pallets. It will then go on to assess whether value
can be recovered from any additional waste materials. This may be achieved very simply
through improved segregation or good housekeeping. In countries such as the UK and the
USA, environmental organizations provide advice to industry on materials recycling, and will
supply details of local waste exchange schemes.
Is regular contact maintained with the regulatory authorities?
By maintaining a good relationship with the regulator, a company can improve environmental
standards and avoid prosecution. Whether or not it is required by national legislation, it is
advisable to contact the regulator immediately in the case of an accident, spillage or other
potentially harmful incident. The audit should check that the address and telephone number of
the regulator (including the out-of-hours contact number) are easily accessible.
2.4 Selecting a recovery or disposal option
The ideal waste management solution is to avoid producing waste in the first place, and
Article Waste Minimization in Industry gives advice on waste minimization. However, it is
impossible to eliminate waste totally, and waste producing companies must therefore
determine the Best Practicable Environmental Option for each of their waste streams.
2.4.1 Reuse
It is generally easy to identify wastes which can be directly reused, either by the producing
company or another organization. Examples include office furniture, computer equipment and
durable containers such as plastic pallets. Offcuts and other process waste can often be

returned to the production process with little or no treatment. It may be possible to reduce
waste by replacing disposable items (such as plastic cups or cardboard boxes) with reusable
ones. Companies should also be aware that even hazardous chemical wastes can sometimes be
reused. For example, it may be possible to:
a) use byproducts as feedstock for another product use waste solvents for cleaning or
b) extract and reuse water from dilute, high volume waste streams
c) use waste oils or solvents as fuels.
Byproducts suitable for direct recovery or reuse include:
- acid or alkaline solutions with metals or dissolved organics
- acid or alkaline sludges with metals
- heavy metals
- volatile metals
- organic sludges and salts
- concentrated organic liquids.
Some wastes can be reused in pollution control, for example using an acid solution to
neutralize an alkaline one. Such wastes include:
- non-contaminated acid solutions
- pickle liquor
- acid gases
- alkaline solutions with metals.
2.4.2 Wastes suitable for recycling
A wide range of non-hazardous industrial wastes can be recycled, the most familiar being
paper, metals, glass, plastic and textiles. The feasibility of recycling will depend on economic
factors: while it may be physically possible to recycle a waste material, this may cost the
company more than disposing of it to landfill (although there may be less tangible benefits to
recycling, such as good community relations). Further information and guidance on recycling
can be found in Topic 4.13.3.
The recycling of oils, solvents and scrap metals is carried out by long-established specialist
industries. Where not properly regulated and managed, these recycling processes have the
potential to cause environmental damage so waste producers should ensure that they engage a
reputable company which can demonstrate compliance with all relevant environmental
Naturally occurring non-hazardous organic wastes, for example wastes from food processing,
can be composted if suitable facilities are available. In some countries composting is already
practised on a large scale, and it is likely to increase in importance in other developed
countries as new legislation (such as the European Community Landfill Directive) restricts
the landfilling of putrescible materials.
2.4.3 Wastes suitable for energy recovery

Wastes with a high calorific value can often be burned as fuel, provided suitable controls are
in place to eliminate or minimize the release of polluting emissions to the air (emission
standards are generally specified in national legislation). The following chemical wastes are
suitable for energy recovery:
- emulsified organics
- alkaline solutions with organics
- concentrated organic liquids
- tars and residues
- organic sludges
- combustible gases.
A variety of non-hazardous wastes can be used as fuel, for example in cement and lime kilns,
although in some countries this is a controversial process (due to public anxiety about
emissions to the atmosphere). Examples include tires, packaging waste and wood waste.
2.4.4 Wastes suitable for incineration
Incineration is typically chosen for industrial waste streams which possess any of the
following properties:
- biologically hazardous
- resistant to biodegradation and therefore persistent in the environment
- volatile and therefore easily dispersed
- flammable (with a flash point below 40 C)
- contains compounds which may produce an adverse environmental impact if landfilled (e.g.
organically bound halogens, lead, cadmium, sulfur, nitrogen, phosphorus).
Examples of industrial wastes which are disposed of by incineration include solvents, waste
oils, plastics, pharmaceutical wastes, phenolic wastes, grease, wax and other organic wastes.
While most organic wastes can be incinerated, this is not an appropriate option for materials
which are highly radioactive or explosive, or which contain a high percentage of water.
The waste hierarchy (see section 1.2.1. above) makes a distinction between waste which is
burned as a fuel to produce electricity or heat, and waste which is destroyed in an incinerator
without energy production. Incineration without energy recovery is classed as disposal and
shares the bottom rung of the hierarchy with landfill. However, for some environmentally
hazardous materials, the only appropriate option is incineration in a specialized hightemperature hazardous waste incinerator. (These do not produce heat or electricity for the
public supply because all the energy released is needed for waste destruction.) Wastes
requiring high temperature incineration include waste oils and equipment contaminated with
polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), pesticide waste, highly toxic metals such as cadmium, and
toxic pharmaceutical waste.
2.4.5 Wastes for which landfill is the most appropriate option
Landfill is often viewed simplistically as the least sustainable waste management option, but
for many wastes it is the BPEO. These include high volume, inert wastes such as demolition
rubble. Even where waste is treated or incinerated, there will always be residues requiring

landfill disposal. Throughout the world it is the most commonly used disposal route for
municipal wastes and non-hazardous solid wastes from industry, and in some areas may be the
only available option.
2.4.6 Treatment of waste
In Western Europe and North America, increasingly stringent legislative controls over landfill
mean that it is no longer an available option for many industrial wastes including (in the EU)
liquid wastes, tires and solvents. The practice of co-disposal, by which hazardous industrial
wastes are mixed with household waste at the landfill to encourage biodegradation, will soon
be banned in the European Union under the Landfill Directive. This will mean that an
increasing volume of industrial waste will require pre-treatment either at the site of production
or at a specialist treatment plant.
On-site treatment plants are commonly used for industrial effluents, but less frequently for
solid wastes. The use of physico-chemical or biological treatment plant requires a detailed
knowledge of the waste stream and may prove to be more costly than off-site treatment and
disposal by a contractor. Information on hazardous waste treatment technologies can be found
in Topic Hazardous Waste Management.
There are, however, some simple techniques which can be applied by most waste producers to
reduce disposal costs. Low-density wastes such as paper and card can be compacted, and
compatible drummed wastes can be bulked up in a storage tank so that they can be taken
directly to landfill (bypassing the transfer station).
2.5 Selecting a waste contractor
For conscientious companies, responsibility for waste no longer ceases once the waste leaves
the factory gate (see section 1.3. above). Management will wish to ensure that waste is being
transported, treated and disposed of in accordance with national legislation and in a way
which satisfies the requirements of the waste producers environmental policy.
Major waste management companies in Europe are increasingly offering a range of waste
management services, including energy-from-waste, pretreatment, recycling and composting,
in addition to their traditional specialism of landfill or incineration. The more forwardthinking companies will seek to help waste producers comply with new legislation, such as
the EC Packaging Directive, and work with them to identify the BPEO for their waste. One
large British retailer, forced to review its waste disposal practices following the introduction
of the new packaging recycling requirements, has predicted that waste management
companies will need to become "business partners" rather than merely "contractors" if they
are to flourish in the new era of integrated waste management.
2.5.1 Waste Facility Site Audit
For many large waste producing companies in countries such as the UK, it is now standard
practice to visit and audit waste facilities before entering into a waste management contract.
This is particularly important where hazardous wastes are involved (with the risk of
environmental damage and attendant legal liability if wastes are not dealt with responsibly).

The following checklist gives some examples of the environmental and safety matters to be
covered in a waste facility audit. Waste producers will naturally also examine the waste
management company itself, scrutinizing such matters as financial standing, size, areas of
specialization and quality of personnel, and commitment to quality management.
Are vehicles in good condition and regularly maintained?
Do tankers meet the specification for the types of liquid waste being transported?
Where hazardous wastes are being carried, do vehicles carry the placards and documentation
required under dangerous goods legislation?
Have drivers received suitable training (for example, the dangerous goods training required
under European legislation)?
Does the vehicle carry suitable emergency equipment (e.g. fire extinguisher, spillage kit)?
Landfill site
Is the site legally entitled to receive the waste? (for example, in Europe every disposal facility
must have a permit or licence which sets down operational standards and specifies which
wastes can be accepted).
How long has the site been in operation and when will it be fully restored? (if the landfill is
due to be completed within a year or two, it may not be worth entering into a contract).
Does the site have a tidy, clean appearance?
What facilities are available (e.g. wheel wash, weighbridge)?
Is the site secure?
What is the condition of the land immediately outside the site (for example, is there mud on
the roads and windblown litter on neighboring land)?
Does the site receive complaints from local residents, and if so how are they dealt with?
Are all wastes adequately logged in on arrival?
Are wastes inspected, sampled and tested, and records kept of the results?
Are employees provided with training and sufficiently detailed operational instructions?
Are employees well trained in emergency procedures?
Can the site operator guarantee the prompt disposal of waste (e.g. by offering a Certificate of
Disposal for particularly hazardous or high-value wastes)?

How are drums disposed of? (These are likely to bear the name of the waste producer, who
could be found liable if the waste subsequently causes pollution.)
Is the final location of the waste recorded?
How is landfill gas monitored and controlled?
How is leachate monitored, controlled and treated?
Is the waste adequately covered at the end of the day?
As part of the site audit, it might be helpful to follow a specific waste load, from its
acceptance on the site to its final disposal, looking at record keeping procedures as well as
treatment and disposal techniques.
Similar common-sense investigations should be carried out at treatment, transfer and recovery
facilities before entering into a contract.
The guidelines in this article are based on experience in the UK and Europe, and it should be
borne in mind that the optimum waste management strategy for an industrial waste stream
will vary widely according to the requirements of national legislation, resources available to
the company and geographical factors such as the availability and accessibility of waste
management facilities. However, the general principles of cradle to grave responsibility for
wastes, and reducing the overall environmental impact of products, are relevant throughout
the world. If applied conscientiously, they will achieve the important aims of reducing
pollution, conserving resources and moving towards a more sustainable future for industry.
Related Chapters
Click Here To View The Related Chapters
: The method of dealing with a waste stream or other potentially polluting
release in a way which minimizes the impact on the environment as a whole
(air, water and land). The inclusion of "practicable" denotes that economic
considerations will be taken into account.
: A well constructed bank surrounding a storage tank which will contain any
spillage or leakage.
Difficult waste : Waste which, although falling outside the official definition of "hazardous",
presents problems in handling, treatment or disposal.
: European Community.
: European Union.
: Waste which is recognized under national legislation as having the potential
to cause harm to human health or the environment. The EC has established a
detailed system of assessment for hazardous waste, based on the
methodology used for classification of hazardous chemical products.
ISO 14001
: The international standard for environmental management systems,


established by the International Standardisation Organisation.

: Personal protective equipment, such as safety gloves, overalls and breathing
: The recovery of value from waste by materials recycling, composting, or
burning waste to produce energy.
: A scheme run by a commercial or voluntary organization which enables
waste producers to exchange reusable materials and byproducts with other
: A policy tool which ranks waste management options in order of
sustainability (with waste reduction and the top and disposal by landfill or
incineration at the bottom).

Directive 75/442/EEC (OJ L194 25.7.75) Framework Directive on Waste, amended by 91/156/EEC (OJ L78
Directive 94/62/EC (OJ L365 31.12.94) Packaging and Packaging Waste
Directive 99/31/EC (OJ L182 16.7.99) Landfill of Waste
[These three items of European Community legislation illustrate the policies and objectives of EU Member
States regarding industrial waste management.]
Biographical Sketch
Mrs Caroline L Hand BA MSc
Caroline Hand is a freelance writer on environmental legislation, policy and practice, specialising in waste
management. She is Consultant Editor of Croners Waste Management Magazine and Croners Waste
Management updating reference manual. Her past experience includes work at the House of Commons as
Specialist Assistant to the Environment Select Committee.

To cite this chapter

C L Hand, (2004), WASTE MANAGEMENT IN INDUSTRY, in Waste Management and Minimisation,
[Eds. Stephen R. Smith, and Nick Blakey], in Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems (EOLSS), Developed under
the Auspices of the UNESCO, Eolss Publishers, Oxford ,UK, [] [Retrieved April 12, 2007]