ARCHIVE: e-Digest Statistics about: Waste and Recycling
Imports and Exports of waste
In addition to waste arisings in the UK, further waste is imported into the UK for treatment and disposal. The UK also exports some waste for recovery and recycling operations. Information on imports to and exports from the UK of hazardous wastes between October 1989 and 31 March 1994 has been derived from the consignment note required to accompany all international movements of hazardous waste under the Transfrontier Shipment of Waste Regulations 1988.
These Regulations were replaced on 6 May 1994 by Council Regulation (EEC) No.259/93 on the supervision and control of shipments of waste within, into and out of the European Community, supplemented in the UK by the Transfrontier Shipment of Waste Regulations 1994 and the UK Management Plan for Exports and Imports of Waste in 1996. Under the European Regulation, international movements of all wastes shipped for disposal are notifiable to the UK authorities whereas under the 1988 Regulation only hazardous wastes were notifiable . 'Disposal' here means any operation which does not lead to resource recovery (e.g. landfill, incineration without energy recovery).
Wastes shipped for operations leading to re-use, reclamation, recycling or recovery are assigned to one of three lists created by the OECD; red, amber or green, depending on the degree of hazard which they present. Shipment of wastes on the OECD green list do not require notification to competent authorities (unless they are contaminated), whereas shipments of amber or red listed wastes, or those unassigned to any of the three lists, do require notification.
The UK prohibits all exports of waste for disposal as opposed to re-use, reclamation, recycling or recovery. With one or two exceptions, the UK does not accept imported wastes for disposal but will accept waste for recovery operations or that is in transit.
Table 13 summarises the imports to and exports from the UK of notified waste for 1988/89-1993/94, and for 1994 - 1998. Figures for imports under the 1994 Regulations are not comparable with those for previous years because of the changes in the controlling regime outlined above. Imports and exports in 1995 were similar to those for 1994, but between 1996 and 1998 the level of imports and exports has approximately doubled. The reasons behind this large increase are not clear, but it is thought that better reporting and the implementation of a quality assurance scheme by the Environment Agency are factors.
|13||Imports and exports of wastes|
- References, further reading and links to other resources:
-  OECD. The OECD System for Transfrontier Movements of Hazardous Wastes destined for Recovery Operations - Guidance Manual. Environment Monographs No 96. Paris 1995
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Page last modified: 16 September 2003
Page published: 10 September 2003