How do you know if waste is hazardous?

Who decides whether a waste is hazardous or not?

Law 22/2011 on waste and contaminated soils defines “hazardous waste” as waste that presents one or more hazardous characteristics listed in its Annex III, as amended by Regulation 1357/2014 of 18 December amending Annex III of Directive 2008/98/EC.

The determination of the hazardous characteristics of the waste shall be carried out in accordance with Regulation 1357/2014 of 18 December amending Annex III of Directive 2008/98/EC.

If the composition of the waste is not known, the determination of its hazardous characteristics shall be carried out using the test methods described in Council Regulation (EC) No. 440/2008

Regarding storage: The producer or manager of hazardous waste is obliged to keep the stored waste in appropriate conditions of hygiene and safety while in his possession.

The maximum duration of storage will be six months (in exceptional cases, the competent body of the Autonomous Communities where such storage is carried out, for duly justified reasons and provided that the protection of human health and the environment is guaranteed, may modify this period).

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How to identify hazardous waste

Hazardous wastes are those that contain in their composition one or more substances that give them dangerous characteristics, in such quantities or concentrations that they represent a risk to human health, natural resources or the environment. Containers and containers that have contained these substances are also considered hazardous waste.

If the composition of the waste is not known, the determination of its hazardous characteristics must be carried out by testing. The test methods to be applied are described in Annex V of Directive 67/548/EEC and in other relevant notes of the European Committee for Standardization (CEN).

The shipment of waste begins once the producer has the Acceptance Document from the Manager, provided that the competent authority has been notified 10 days in advance.

In the Community of Madrid, four types of documents are used in the shipment of hazardous waste, three of them regulated at the national level (waste acceptance document-notification of shipment and DCS) and one of them at the regional level.


Hazardous wastes are the result of the use of hazardous substances. These substances are those that affect the health of individuals and the environment instantaneously or over time. Given the characteristics of these substances, there is a classification by which their level of hazardousness can be measured:

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Any of these characteristics possessed by a waste falls into the category of hazardous waste. Some examples of these wastes are: used industrial oils, contaminated rags, solvents, paints, batteries, batteries, contaminated plastics and containers that have contained hazardous substances.

To determine the most appropriate treatment for a hazardous waste, it is necessary to analyze its hazardous characteristics. Ecobio performs physicochemical analyses to determine the hazardous characteristics (corrosiveness, flammability, toxicity and reactivity) of the waste, and then defines the appropriate treatment for the waste.

Semarnat hazardous waste

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Until a few decades ago, waste that is today classified as hazardous was part of industrial, hospital and even household waste. These were deposited in unauthorized places such as landfills, riverbanks, wetlands or simply dumped in water or disposed of in municipal landfills together with household solid waste. There are many known events that, as a result of these bad practices, have caused damage to the population and human health, for example, the accumulation of lead salts in the north of Chile, in nearby areas, have caused neurological problems in children, leukemia and teratogenic effects in the adult population.

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