- The European Waste Catalogue codes were originally transposed into UK law through The List of Wastes (LOW) Regulations. But these were revoked in the Haz Waste (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2015 with reference now made to Commission Decision 2000/532/EC as amended in 2015
- From 1 July 2015, three new EWC codes have been added as part of ‘Guidance on the classification and assessment of waste (1st edition 2015) Technical Guidance WM3’. These are 01 03 10*, 16 03 07* and 19 03 08* whch have now been incorporated into our search facility along with other amendments from WM3 that include:
- Slight changes to the wording of 01 03 09, 06 08 02* and 19 03 04*.
- The replacement of the word ‘dangerous’ by ‘hazardous’ throughout.
- Whilst 99 codes are discouraged, municipal offensive waste must be be classified under 20 01 99, NOT the 18 01 or 18 02 healthcare codes. Municipal offensive waste includes dog poo from collection bins and kennels, nappy waste from nurseries, feminine hygiene waste and domestic incontinence waste.
- The use of EWC codes is a legal requirement of the Duty of Care (DoC) legislation across the UK.
- The DoC requires that a waste holder (producer, carrier or disposer) takes all reasonable steps to ensure that waste is described in a way that permits its safe handling and management and that any transfer of waste is accompanied by a written description of the waste including a LOW code.
- In addition to the code, any waste should also be described in a way that identifies any properties relevant to its handling.
- This search facility is based on information published by the Environment Agency in their List of Wastes Guide.
- PLEASE NOTE: THOSE HANDLING WASTE ARE LEGALLY LIABLE TO USE THE RIGHT EWC CODE. INFORMATION ON THIS SITE IS PROVIDED IN GOOD FAITH USING THE MOST RECENT EA GUIDANCE, BUT 360 ENVIRONMENTAL CANNOT BE HELD LIABLE FOR ANY ENFORCEMENT ACTION THAT MAY BE TAKEN IN RELATION TO THE USE OF THESE CODES.
- The EWC is made up of chapters describing waste arising from different types of activity. The chapter and sub-chapter headings are as equally important as the description alongside the six figure code. If your waste has not arisen from the activity covered by a particular Chapter, then you should NOT use that code, even where the individual waste description seems most apt.
- When choosing a code, you should use the following steps:
Step 1. Try to identify where in chapters 01 to 12 or 17 to 20 the waste is produced (i.e. the industry or process from which the waste arose, including household or similar waste). Using the information outlined in the bullet points above, identify the appropriate six-digit code for the waste, excluding codes ending with 99.
Step 2. If an appropriate waste code cannot be found in chapters 01 to 12 or 17 to 20, then the next step is to examine chapters 13, 14 and 15.
Step 3. If none of these waste codes properly describes the waste, try to identify whether the waste is described in chapter 16.
Step 4. If a suitable code still cannot be found, choose a 99 code from the appropriate chapter in Step 1.
- For a list of EWC Chapters, simply click on the ‘Chapter’ tab below and look at the drop down box.
- A transfer note must always contain a written description of the waste as well as the EWC code. The Agencies expect this to be sufficient to enable the main components of the waste to be identified.
- For example: 20 03 01 (mixed municipal waste) arising from a light industrial unit should have an accompanying written description which might read: ‘General non-hazardous waste from light engineering consisting only of waste food from the canteen, paper, metal, cardboard & plastic packaging and floor sweepings’.
Waste containing Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)
In June 2020, the EA published a series of GOV.UK Guidance documents to assist in the EWC classification of waste containing Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), especially Waste Electrical amd Electronic Equipment. If you dispose of, collect or treat WEEE, you should read this guidance before determining the correct EWC code.