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 European Commission > Eurostat > Environmental Data Centre on Waste > Key waste streams > Hazardous waste

Hazardous waste



Hazardous waste arisings are relatively low compared to the generated total but potentially very damaging to both the environment and human health. The following key pieces of European legislation all relate to hazardous wastes:


  • The Waste Framework Directive lays down a strict control regime for hazardous waste. The Directive stipulates that hazardous waste must be recorded, identified and kept separated from other types of hazardous and non-hazardous waste. The properties which render waste hazardous are laid down in the Directive and are further specified by Decision 2000/532/EC establishing a List of Wastes (LoW).

  • The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal is an international treaty which came into force in 1992 having been signed by 172 Parties. It is designed to protect human health and the environment from potential adverse effects of hazardous wastes, through the control of transboundary movements and disposal of hazardous wastes.  The driving force for drafting and adopting the Basel Convention was to prevent shipments of hazardous waste from developed to less developed countries, a practise which had begun to take place as authorised disposal routes had become more expensive as a consequence of environmental regulations becoming stricter;

  • The Landfill Directive banned co-disposal of waste which in practise means that hazardous waste must be assigned to a hazardous waste landfill (and municipal waste must go to a landfill for non-hazardous waste).

Sustainable Development Indicator (SDI) on Hazardous Waste

Sustainable Development Indicators (SDIs) are reported by the Commission on a whole range on topics. The full list amounts to around 100 indicators and can be found on Eurostat’s website here

An important indicator under the SDI category 'Sustainable Consumption and Production' category, is:

Tables Graphs and Maps Generation of Hazardous waste, by country, year and economic activity (NACE), in kg per inhabitant


Due to the potential negative health and environmental effects that hazardous waste may lead to, it is important to be aware of total arisings. Showing the data in relation to population allows for a meaningful comparison between Member States.


Data explorer Generation of Hazardous waste, by country, year , waste category, in kg per inhabitants and tonnes


Useful addresses


Environment DG: Hazardous waste

Last update 09.04.2014