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General EHS Guidelines [Complete version] at: www.ifc.


Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS) Guidelines


residual waste from industrial operations, such as boiler slag,

1.6 Waste Management clinker, and fly ash.
Applicability and Approach .............................................46
General Waste Management..........................................47 Hazardous waste shares the properties of a hazardous
Waste Management Planning .................................47 material (e.g. ignitability, corrosivity, reactivity, or toxicity), or
Waste Prevention...................................................47
other physical, chemical, or biological characteristics that
Recycling and Reuse..............................................48
Treatment and Disposal..........................................48 may pose a potential risk to human health or the environment
Hazardous Waste Management......................................48 if improperly managed. Wastes may also be defined as
Waste Storage .......................................................48
“hazardous” by local regulations or international conventions,
Treatment and Disposal..........................................49 based on the origin of the waste and its inclusion on
Commercial or Government Waste Contractors....49 hazardous waste lists, or based on its characteristics.
Small Quantities of Hazardous Waste ..................50
Sludge from a waste treatment plant, water supply treatment
plant, or air pollution control facility, and other discarded
material, including solid, liquid, semisolid, or contained
Applicability and Approach
gaseous material resulting from industrial operations needs
These guidelines apply to projects that generate, store, or
to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis to establish whether
handle any quantity of waste across a range of industry
it constitutes a hazardous or a non-hazardous waste.
sectors. It is not intended to apply to projects or facilities
where the primary business is the collection, transportation, Facilities that generate and store wastes should practice the
treatment, or disposal of wastes. Specific guidance for these following:
types of facilities is presented in the Environmental Health
• Establishing waste management priorities at the outset
and Safety (EHS) Guidelines for Waste Management
of activities based on an understanding of potential
Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS) risks and

A waste is any solid, liquid, or contained gaseous material impacts and considering waste generation and its
that is being discarded by disposal, recycling, burning or consequences
incineration. It can be byproduct of a manufacturing process • Establishing a waste management hierarchy that
or an obsolete commercial product that can no longer be considers prevention, reduction, reuse, recovery,
used for intended purpose and requires disposal. recycling, removal and finally disposal of wastes.
• Avoiding or minimizing the generation waste materials,
Solid (non-hazardous) wastes generally include any garbage, as far as practicable
refuse. Examples of such waste include domestic trash and • Where waste generation cannot be avoided but has
garbage; inert construction / demolition materials; refuse, been minimized, recovering and reusing waste
such as metal scrap and empty containers (except those
previously used to contain hazardous materials which should,
in principle, be managed as a hazardous waste); and

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Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS) Guidelines

• Where waste can not be recovered or reused, treating, • Definition of procedures and operational controls for on-
destroying, and disposing of it in an environmentally site storage
sound manner • Definition of options / procedures / operational controls
for treatment and final disposal
General Waste Management
The following guidance applies to the management of non- Waste Prevention
hazardous and hazardous waste. Additional guidance Processes should be designed and operated to prevent, or
specifically applicable to hazardous wastes is presented minimize, the quantities of wastes generated and hazards
below. Waste management should be addressed through a associated with the wastes generated in accordance with the
Waste management system that addresses issues linked to following strategy:
waste minimization, generation, transport, disposal, and
• Substituting raw materials or inputs with less hazardous
or toxic materials, or with those where processing
generates lower waste volumes
Waste Management Planning
• Applying manufacturing process that convert materials
Facilities that generate waste should characterize their waste
efficiently, providing higher product output yields,
according to composition, source, types of wastes produced,
including modification of design of the production
generation rates, or according to local regulatory
process, operating conditions, and process controls50
requirements. Effective planning and implementation of
• Instituting good housekeeping and operating practices,
waste management strategies should include:
including inventory control to reduce the amount of
• Review of new waste sources during planning, siting, waste resulting from materials that are out-of-date, off-
and design activities, including during equipment specification, contaminated, damaged, or excess to
modifications and process alterations, to identify plant needs
expected waste generation, pollution prevention • Instituting procurement measures that recognize
opportunities, and necessary treatment, storage, and opportunities to return usable materials such as
disposal infrastructure containers and which prevents the over ordering of
• Collection of data and information about the process materials
and waste streams in existing facilities, including
• Minimizing hazardous waste generation by
characterization of waste streams by type, quantities, implementing stringent waste segregation to prevent the
and potential use/disposition commingling of non-hazardous and hazardous waste to
• Establishment of priorities based on a risk analysis that be managed
takes into account the potential EHS risks during the
waste cycle and the availability of infrastructure to
manage the waste in an environmentally sound manner
50 Examples of waste prevention strategies include the concept of Lean
• Definition of opportunities for source reduction, as well Manufacturing found at
as reuse and recycling

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Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS) Guidelines

Recycling and Reuse wastes; properly designed, permitted and operated

In addition to the implementation of waste prevention landfills or incinerators designed for the respective type

strategies, the total amount of waste may be significantly of waste; or other methods known to be effective in the

reduced through the implementation of recycling plans, which safe, final disposal of waste materials such as

should consider the following elements: bioremediation.

• Evaluation of waste production processes and Hazardous Waste Management

identification of potentially recyclable materials
Hazardous wastes should always be segregated from non-
• Identification and recycling of products that can be hazardous wastes. If generation of hazardous waste can not
reintroduced into the manufacturing process or industry
be prevented through the implementation of the above
activity at the site
general waste management practices, its management
• Investigation of external markets for recycling by other should focus on the prevention of harm to health, safety, and
industrial processing operations located in the the environment, according to the following additional
neighborhood or region of the facility (e.g., waste principles:
• Understanding potential impacts and risks associated
• Establishing recycling objectives and formal tracking of
with the management of any generated hazardous
waste generation and recycling rates
waste during its complete life cycle
• Providing training and incentives to employees in order
• Ensuring that contractors handling, treating, and
to meet objectives
disposing of hazardous waste are reputable and

Treatment and Disposal legitimate enterprises, licensed by the relevant

If waste materials are still generated after the implementation regulatory agencies and following good international

of feasible waste prevention, reduction, reuse, recovery and industry practice for the waste being handled

recycling measures, waste materials should be treated and • Ensuring compliance with applicable local and

disposed of and all measures should be taken to avoid international regulations51

potential impacts to human health and the environment.

Selected management approaches should be consistent with
Waste Storage
the characteristics of the waste and local regulations, and Hazardous waste should be stored so as to prevent or

may include one or more of the following: control accidental releases to air, soil, and water resources in
area location where:
• On-site or off-site biological, chemical, or physical
treatment of the waste material to render it non-
hazardous prior to final disposal 51 International requirements may include host-country commitments
under the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of
• Treatment or disposal at permitted facilities specially Hazardous Waste and their disposal ( and Rotterdam
Convention on the prior Inform Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous
designed to receive the waste. Examples include: Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade (
composting operations for organic non-hazardous

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Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS) Guidelines

• Waste is stored in a manner that prevents the • Preparing and implementing spill response and
commingling or contact between incompatible wastes, emergency plans to address their accidental release
and allows for inspection between containers to monitor (additional information on Emergency Plans in provided
leaks or spills. Examples include sufficient space in Section 3 of this document)
between incompatibles or physical separation such as • Avoiding underground storage tanks and underground
walls or containment curbs piping of hazardous waste
• Store in closed containers away from direct sunlight,
wind and rain Transportation
• Secondary containment systems should be constructed On-site and Off-site transportation of waste should be
with materials appropriate for the wastes being conducted so as to prevent or minimize spills, releases, and
contained and adequate to prevent loss to the exposures to employees and the public. All waste
environment containers designated for off-site shipment should be

• Secondary containment is included wherever liquid secured and labeled with the contents and associated

wastes are stored in volumes greater than 220 liters. hazards, be properly loaded on the transport vehicles before

The available volume of secondary containment should leaving the site, and be accompanied by a shipping paper
be at least 110 percent of the largest storage container, (i.e., manifest) that describes the load and its associated

or 25 percent of the total storage capacity (whichever is hazards, consistent with the guidance provided in Section 3.4

greater), in that specific location on the Transport of Hazardous Materials.

• Provide adequate ventilation where volatile wastes are

Treatment and Disposal
In addition to the recommendations for treatment and
Hazardous waste storage activities should also be subject to
disposal applicable to general wastes, the following issues
special management actions, conducted by employees who
specific to hazardous wastes should be considered:
have received specific training in handling and storage of
hazardous wastes: Commercial or Government Waste Contractors
In the absence of qualified commercial or government-owned
• Provision of readily available information on chemical
waste vendors (taking into consideration proximity and
compatibility to employees, including labeling each
transportation requirements), facilities generating waste
container to identify its contents
should consider using:
• Limiting access to hazardous waste storage areas to
employees who have received proper training • Have the technical capability to manage the waste in a

• Clearly identifying (label) and demarcating the area, manner that reduces immediate and future impact to the

including documentation of its location on a facility map environment

or site plan • Have all required permits, certifications, and approvals,

• Conducting periodic inspections of waste storage areas of applicable government authorities

and documenting the findings

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• Have been secured through the use of formal are generated and stored on site, monitoring activities
procurement agreements should include:

In the absence of qualified commercial or government-owned o Inspection of vessels for leaks, drips or other

waste disposal operators (taking into consideration proximity indications of loss

and transportation requirements), project sponsors should o Identification of cracks, corrosion, or damage to

consider using: tanks, protective equipment, or floors

o Verification of locks, emergency valves, and other
• Installing on-site waste treatment or recycling
safety devices for easy operation (lubricating if
required and employing the practice of keeping
• As a final option, constructing facilities that will provide
locks and safety equipment in standby position
for the environmental sound long-term storage of
when the area is not occupied)
wastes on-site (as described elsewhere in the General
o Checking the operability of emergency systems
EHS Guidelines) or at an alternative appropriate
o Documenting results of testing for integrity,
location up until external commercial options become
emissions, or monitoring stations (air, soil vapor, or
o Documenting any changes to the storage facility,
Small Quantities of Hazardous Waste
and any significant changes in the quantity of
Hazardous waste materials are frequently generated in small
materials in storage
quantities by many projects through a variety of activities
such as equipment and building maintenance activities. • Regular audits of waste segregation and collection

Examples of these types of wastes include: spent solvents practices

and oily rags, empty paint cans, chemical containers; used • Tracking of waste generation trends by type and amount

lubricating oil; used batteries (such as nickel-cadmium or of waste generated, preferably by facility departments

lead acid); and lighting equipment, such as lamps or lamp • Characterizing waste at the beginning of generation of a

ballasts. These wastes should be managed following the new waste stream, and periodically documenting the

guidance provided in the above sections. characteristics and proper management of the waste,
especially hazardous wastes
Monitoring • Keeping manifests or other records that document the
Monitoring activities associated with the management of amount of waste generated and its destination
hazardous and non-hazardous waste should include: • Periodic auditing of third party treatment, and disposal
services including re-use and recycling facilities when
• Regular visual inspection of all waste storage collection
significant quantities of hazardous wastes are managed
and storage areas for evidence of accidental releases
by third parties. Whenever possible, audits should
and to verify that wastes are properly labeled and
include site visits to the treatment storage and disposal
stored. When significant quantities of hazardous wastes

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Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS) Guidelines

• Regular monitoring of groundwater quality in cases of

Hazardous Waste on site storage and/or pretreatment
and disposal
• Monitoring records for hazardous waste collected,
stored, or shipped should include:
o Name and identification number of the material(s)
composing the hazardous waste
o Physical state (i.e., solid, liquid, gaseous or a
combination of one, or more, of these)
o Quantity (e.g., kilograms or liters, number of
o Waste shipment tracking documentation to include,
quantity and type, date dispatched, date
transported and date received, record of the
originator, the receiver and the transporter
o Method and date of storing, repacking, treating, or
disposing at the facility, cross-referenced to
specific manifest document numbers applicable to
the hazardous waste
o Location of each hazardous waste within the
facility, and the quantity at each location

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