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Chapter 1.2 General policy context. Context of hazardous waste management. wide environmental and development agenda concern about links between poverty and pollution integrated approaches to environmental management by governments maturing of corporate management systems and tools

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Chapter 1.2 General policy context

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context of hazardous waste management
Context of hazardous waste management
  • wide environmental and development agenda
  • concern about links between poverty and pollution
  • integrated approaches to environmental management by governments
  • maturing of corporate management systems and tools
  • rising expectations of public reporting
  • rapidly increasing knowledge
  • fast pace of technology development
  • global trade regimes and multinational corporations
  • rising public expectations
  • tighter chemicals legislation

TRP Chapter 1.2 2

sustainable development
Sustainable Development
  • includes environmental, social & economic objectives
  • aims at future welfare as well as today
  • international blueprint is Agenda 21 - adopted at national and local levels
    • based on partnership approach
    • prevention as well as management
    • hazardous waste in Chapter 19
    • other chapters relevant also eg chemicals, industry
    • implemented through national SD plans and policies

TRP Chapter 1.2 3

key terms
Key terms

Many new terms, often over-lapping, not all


  • integrated pollution control
  • industrial ecology
  • factor X dematerialisation
  • environmental footprint
  • environmental management system
  • voluntary environmental code
  • Cleaner Production
  • eco-efficiency

Some organisations use the same definitions to

describe different concepts

TRP Chapter 1.2 4

  • Greater integration in government strategies on environmental, economic and social aspects
  • Corporations have translated Agenda 21 into ‘triple bottom line’
  • Maturing of policy instruments, management systems and assessment tools
  • Environmental management systems eg ISO 14001 will try to address and optimise all issues, including waste
  • Hazardous waste is just one of a number of challenges confronting industry and government
  • Understanding of context as important as technical knowledge

TRP Chapter 1.2 5

efficient use of resources
Efficient use of resources

Improved resource efficiency is vital for sustainable development

eg Cleaner Production

waste prevention

Factor Four and Factor Ten dematerialisation

The aim is to do more with less,

not to do less,

or to do without

TRP Chapter 1.2 6

establishing priorities
Establishing priorities
  • National ‘state of the environment’ reports help to establish government priorities on Sustainable Development
  • UNEP’s Global Environmental Outlook (GEO) shows at global level:
  • environmental quality is still deteriorating, in all media
  • resource demand is unsustainable
  • product consumption is unsustainable
  • local improvements are often negated by increased growth
  • environmental institutions and laws are not being used sufficiently
  • environmental technologies exist, but are often not employed

TRP Chapter 1.2 7

policy framework
Policy framework

Policy area Specific focus Key issues

Trade Imports Bans, controls, hazardous chemicals take-back systems

Exports Basel Convention

Industry Multinational & Apply industrialised country external investors standards

Indigenous industries Government assistance & SMEs

Manpower Skills Education/training

Imported skills

Technology transfer

Fiscal Taxation Burden on companies

TRP Chapter 1.2 8

evolution of hazardous waste management
Evolution of hazardous waste management
  • Only recently treated as a separate policy area in developed countries - contaminated land incidents in the ‘70s & ‘80s triggered hazardous wastes & pollution prevention programmes - funds to clean up past pollution in USA exceed costs of managing today’s wastes
  • Legal liability for pollution changed practice in industry
  • Landfill design and operation improved
  • On-site recycling & treatment expanded
  • Centralised treatment & disposal facilities developed
  • Industry began waste reduction programmes eg waste minimisation, waste prevention, Cleaner Production
  • Avoid unco-ordinated changes: opportunity for developing economies to avoid repeating mistakes

TRP Chapter 1.2 9

waste as a sustainable development priority
Waste as a Sustainable Development priority


  • represent an economic loss of resources
  • are costly to manage properly
  • interfere with social progress because they pollute, affect public health
  • are significant pollutants of water, land and biota
  • are a threat to future development
  • Hazardous wastes generation and management are:
  • included in international agendas and priorities
  • are subject to multilateral environmental agreements eg Basel, London Convention (on prevention of marine pollution from dumping of wastes)

TRP Chapter 1.2 10

key actors in waste management
Key actors in waste management
  • Government policy makers & regulators: environmental and waste policy, regulation of industry
  • Waste generators: manufacturing companies, utilities, service sector, individuals
  • Waste industry: contractors, consultants, trade associations & professional bodies
  • Transport sector including waste transporters
  • Consultants conducting EIA and plant permitting processes
  • Universities and training bodies eg CP & Basel Centres
  • Technology providers
  • International agencies & programmes
  • Media
  • Public groups
  • NGOs
  • Product development professionals: designers, marketing & advertising
  • Purchasing groups and individuals (including consumers)

TRP Chapter 1.2 11

prevention of hazardous waste
Prevention of hazardous waste
  • Common policy objective, less often implemented
  • Limited practical guidance, little policy experience
  • Requires collaboration not command and control
  • Involves broad cross-section of actors
  • Requires changes in attitudes and beliefs
  • Cleaner Production targeted up-stream to identify opportunities for waste prevention
  • Waste minimisation looks at ways of reducing the wastes generated, or hazardous content
  • Each has a role to play

TRP Chapter 1.2 12

treatment and disposal of hazardous waste
Treatment and disposal of hazardous waste
  • Environmentally sound technologies available, but costly
  • Need high level of skill, supervision & organisation
  • Effective legislation difficult with limited resources
  • Public trust lost through past bad practices
  • Waste industry fragmented
  • Hazardous waste policies must be linked to wider pollution control measures
  • Waste prevention should be prioritised to ensure that cheap (or free) disposal does not reduce incentives

TRP Chapter 1.2 13

life cycle management
Life cycle management
  • Looks at all of the stages of raw materials acquisition, processing, use and disposal
  • Fits with waste prevention and Cleaner Production
  • Tools available - practical, technical, strategic
  • Some measures voluntary - may difficult to implement and enforce
  • Some regulated eg Producer Responsibility

TRP Chapter 1.2 14

waste technology
Waste technology
  • Waste technologies have evolved along with raised awareness of issues:
    • move from diluting and disposing of wastes to reducing and treating wastes
    • increased attention to waste avoidance and recycling
    • influence of product design on waste
  • Landfill is still required

TRP Chapter 1.2 15

the importance of the social factor
The importance of the social factor
  • public concern resulting from past pollution
  • technical complexity confuses public
  • poor level of public information
  • lack of trust in waste professionals & government
  • NIMBY syndrome an understandable response
  • high level of opposition to new facilities in many countries
  • public wants waste prevention & recycling put before disposal
  • some success where social agenda recognised

TRP Chapter 1.2 16

case study lead batteries
Case study: lead batteries
  • Common problem in all countries
  • Wastes:
    • arise from end-of-life products not just from manufacturing
    • pose environmental and health risk
    • create employment in collection, processing
    • recycling creates further hazardous wastes difficult to deal with, and can be polluting process itself
  • Issues:
    • more efficient batteries harder to recycle (less lead, complex alloys) = more disposal - product design issue
    • international trade bans (Basel) try to prevent export of problem
    • consumer responsibility/motivation not to discard old batteries

TRP Chapter 1.2 17

the future
The future
  • Increasing integration of hazardous waste management into mainstream environmental programmes
  • More stringent standards and stronger social pressures
  • More focus on prevention of waste
  • Further application of life-cycle management of waste
  • Increased need for communication and public education
  • Hazardous wastes will remain a high profile management activity

TRP Chapter 1.2 18

chapter 1 2 summary
Chapter 1.2 Summary
  • This chapters sets the context for hazardous waste management
  • Sustainable Development
  • Key terms
  • Need for integration of strategies & efficient use of resources
  • Need to establish priorities
  • Key actors
  • Evolution of hazardous waste mangement: prevention, treatment & disposal policies including life cycle approach, ‘zero emission’
  • Importance of social factor
  • Complexity of issues: Case study - lead batteries
  • The future

TRP Chapter 1.2 19