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Hazardous waste regulations

Hazardous waste is waste that is especially harmful to human health and to the environment.

Strict controls apply from the point of its production to its movements and management.

Approximately 263 thousand tonnes of hazardous waste was produced in Wales in 2013. Around 47% was recovered. Most of the remainder was either treated (around 19%), disposed of to landfill (8%) or incinerated (4%).

Examples of hazardous wastes include:

  • asbestos
  • chemical wastes (such as pesticides and solvents)
  • healthcare wastes
  • electrical equipment containing hazardous components (such as cathode ray tubes or lead solder)
  • fluorescent light tubes
  • batteries
  • oils (such as car oil or oily sludges).

The management of hazardous waste in Wales is included in the Collections, Infrastructure and Markets Sector Plan.


The revised European Waste Framework Directive (2008/98/EC) provides the legislative framework which we must comply with when managing hazardous waste. Requirements include additional record keeping and monitoring and control obligations from the ‘cradle to the grave’ are required when managing hazardous waste.

The Hazardous Waste (Wales) Regulations 2005 (S.I. 2005 No. 1806) (external link) sets out the regime in Wales for the control and tracking of the movement of hazardous waste. It ensures that any hazardous waste produced or handled by your business in Wales causes no harm or damage. It imposes duties on those who produce or store waste, on those that carry waste, and on those that receive waste for recycling or disposal. Natural Resources Wales (NRW) as the regulator enforces hazardous waste legislation in Wales.


For advice on how to deal responsibly with any hazardous waste, you should visit Natural Resources Wales (external link)

Guidance on applying the waste hierarchy to hazardous waste (external link)

All holders of hazardous waste must comply with their duty of care responsibilities (external link).

Reducing and managing waste (external link) 

How to deal responsibly with any waste your business produces (external link) 

Waste legislation and regulations (external link)