The Unifying Methodology for the Identification of Hazardous Waste was presented: what will it change?


  • The Vilnius Business Garden hosted the presentation of the Unifying Methodology for the Identification of Hazardous Waste event on March 25. The methodology will be recommended as a guideline for hazardous waste producers and handlers, as well as regulatory agencies. Representatives from municipalities, waste producers, waste management experts, scientists, and representatives from the Ministry of the Environment of the Republic of Lithuania and its subordinate authorities attended the conference.

    UAB Ekokonsultacijos prepared and presented an overview of the current situation in the field of hazardous waste identification at the request of the Ministry of the Environment of the Republic of Lithuania, the conclusions and recommendations of which were used to develop the Unifying Methodology for the Identification of Hazardous Waste.

    This methodology was created to be used by state and municipal authorities and institutions, citizens, and businesses, and it aims to accurately assess and apply national and European Union waste classification legislation to ensure proper and effective identification and classification of hazardous waste, allowing hazardous waste to be collected and managed safely and efficiently.

    The methodology was designed to simplify a complex process

    At the event for the presentation of the Overview and Methodology, Raminta Radavičienė, Vice-Minister of Environment, welcomed the attendees. She believes that developing a high-quality, transparent process of hazardous waste identification will bring much-needed changes in the hazardous waste management sector. A representative of UAB Ekokonsultacijos presented an overview of the current situation in the field of hazardous waste identification, revealing that the legal framework for the classification and identification of hazardous waste, as laid out in various legislation at both national and EU levels, is too complex for all stakeholders interested in proper waste management to understand and apply and that there is a lack of methodological support and no institution dedicated to consulting on this matter.

    Methodological guidance on the application of legislation is usually developed to facilitate the classification and identification of waste at the national level, and policy decisions on the hazardous/non-hazardous classification of certain wastes are made to prevent the need for further assessment of hazardous characteristics, according to experience from other countries.

    During the presentation, the representatives of UAB Ekokonsultacijos described the methodology, its stages, and its principles in detail. The Unifying Methodology for Hazardous Waste Identification is unique, as it summarizes the requirements set out in waste identification legislation, as well as information available from various sources and best practices from other countries, it provides recommendations and decision-making schemes on how to correctly assess and apply national and EU waste classification legislation.

    Although the discussed waste classification and identification schemes appear to be complex at first glance, it was attempted to make the structure and steps of the methodology in a way that it would be easy to understand and apply to all, in the form of a decision-making flowchart, answering the questions “yes” or “no.” It is intended that this principle, as well as the methods described in diagrammatic form, will make the application of the methodology much easier.

    The first phase of the methodology describes in detail how to classify and dispose of household hazardous waste. The methodology’s phases II and III focus on identifying waste caused by economic activity and present the finer points and critical components of these stages. Hypothetical examples of the methodology’s practical application to empty packaging and contaminated soil were also shown, discussing the methodology’s Phase III principle schemes.

    Proposals to make the guidelines mandatory

    A constructive discussion, in which members from various stakeholder groups were required to offer their recommendations and opinions on the approach and its implementation, was also an essential aspect of the conference.

    Interestingly, nearly all groups made similar suggestions, recommending that the methodology should be made mandatory and that a responsible institution should be established to support the use of the methodology. The requirement for an advising service and the application of the waste identification methodology for the validation procedure for inspections were also raised, as was the question of the authorities accountable for the work’s implementation.

    In addition to recommendations, suggestions included the goal of increasing companies’ honesty in managing hazardous waste, the necessity for more effective monitoring of the way hazardous waste is sorted, and so on.

    The methodology and overview were developed as part of the HAZ-IDENT project, which is supported by the Norwegian Financial Mechanism’s Environment, Energy, and Climate Change Program. It is available on the project website.

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    Page updated 2022-07-18