Waste Framework Directive

What is it about?

The Waste Framework Directive lays the foundations for a legally binding approach to waste management across Europe, encompassing the EU’s vision for a “recycling society”. It covers all UK waste activity, and incorporates the existing Waste Oil Directive and the Hazardous Waste Directive. Its latest revisions in UK law focus much more on its Waste Hierarchy content.

The Hierarchy is essentially a list of waste prevention and disposal options. Anyone disposing of waste must consider the Hierarchy and seek the highest possible option before agreeing a disposal route*. To confirm this has been considered, waste producers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are legally obliged to sign a revised consignment note when their hazardous waste is collected or waste transfer note for non-hazardous wastes.

*In choosing the best available disposal option for each waste, the law allows that customers can take into consideration “Life Cycle Thinking”. This means that ALL aspects of treatment of the waste from its production to its final fate can be considered. If, for example, there is no waste contractor offering the re-use option within reasonable driving distance of the waste producer, it may be acceptable to opt for recycling or other recovery instead.

How it affects you

Review the disposal options available for your waste, we can help.

The WFD seeks waste prevention and minimisation above all, so thought should also be given to more waste efficient materials and processes.

If your business is based in England or Wales, and you produce hazardous waste, then you must register each premise with the Environment Agency. Details can be found at their website.

In what way does Safetykleen help?      

Cleaning Solvents: Safetykleen recycles the waste cleaning solvents (containing VOCs) you produce in preference to using it as a fuel, which is considered to be recovery. The use of recycling over recovery is consistent with the Waste Hierarchy.

Waste Services: Safetykleen recognises that waste prevention is at the top of the Waste Hierarchy. It is legally necessary for all businesses to find ways of reducing waste. We offer advice and practical measures to reduce waste and waste associated cost.

Location: Safetykleen’s network of branches nationwide means that there is a facility within reasonable travel distance of your operations. This allows more cost-efficient collections and also assists “Life Cycle Thinking” considerations.

Services: Our services have built in technologies that extend the life of process solutions, again in line with the Waste Framework Directive.

At Safetykleen we deal with over 10,000 hazardous waste consignments every month. We strictly comply with all relevant waste management regulations and observe all waste management legislative best practice.

How can I find out more?

The UK Government has issued guidance on how to use the Waste Hierarchy both in general terms and for hazardous waste. These documents are useful tools when choosing your preferred waste management options. The guidance for hazardous wastes contains details of how to use the hierarchy for a number of wastes including oils and solvents, and this can be accessed using the following link:

Defra – Hazardous Waste

The link to the general guidance is:

Defra – Waste Hierarchy