Six million tonnes of hazardous waste were sent for disposal or recovery in England and Wales in 2006. This is a 12% increase on 2004 - the last year for which we have complete records. The amount of hazardous waste sent to landfill fell to 900,000 tonnes (down 60 per cent since 2004), while recycling/re-use increased to 1.3 million tonnes (up 64 per cent). A quarter of the total hazardous waste produced went to a single treatment plant on Teesside.
Effect of changing legislation
Changes in hazardous waste classification (in the updated European Waste Catalogue) and revised disposal and recovery (D&R) codes make direct comparison with previous data difficult. This has meant some hazardous waste which was previously classified as 'treated' has now been reassigned as recycled/re-used. Changes in legislation have also had a direct impact on hazardous waste management, diverting waste away from landfill and causing more waste to be recycled or recovered. Other changes have re-classified some waste as hazardous; 'newly hazardous' waste includes electrical equipment such as fridges.
- Hazardous waste is being diverted from landfill; nearly one-and-a-half million tonnes less hazardous waste was sent to landfill between 2004 and 2006;
- The amount of hazardous waste being recycled and/or recovered increased;
- Quantities of hazardous waste produced by our main industries continued to fall
- Hazardous waste from waste and water treatment plants continued to increase - mainly ash from incinerators and residues from waste and water treatment;
- Between 150,000 and 175,000 tonnes of 'newly hazardous' waste was generated.
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