Waste classification technical guidance

Technical guidance on how to assess and classify waste.


Technical Guidance WM3: Waste Classification - Guidance on the classification and assessment of waste

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Technical guidance WM3 applies in England from 1st July 2015, when the legal requirements change.

This document provides guidance on waste classification. It is a comprehensive reference manual for anyone involved in producing, managing and regulating waste. You need to be competent in hazardous waste and have some knowledge of chemistry to fully utilise all aspects of this guidance. Appendix A includes the waste classification codes, also referred to as LoW (List of Waste) or EWC (European Waste Catalogue) codes for hazardous and non hazardous waste. This document does not provide guidance on the packaging and labelling of waste for transport.

Published 1 April 2014
Last updated 28 September 2021 + show all updates
  1. An update to Appendix B to reflect the need to consider a specific form / physical state of a substance if it is included under the CLP Regulations as an entry in the Mandatory Classification List (MCL).

  2. “The guidance document has been updated to reflect changes to chemicals legislation as a consequence of EU Exit “

  3. Updated Waste classification technical guidance. Appendix C revised to reflect requirements of Council Regulation 2017/997.

  4. Technical guidance WM3 applies in England from 1st July 2015. Technical guidance WM2 has been removed from this page as it is no longer relevant.

  5. Technical guidance WM2 applies in England until the 30 June 2015. On 1 July the technical guidance WM3 replaces it, and WM2 will be archived.

  6. New WM3 added

  7. Link to consultation on new draft guidance (WM3) added.

  8. First published.