§ Mr. Harry Barnes
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) if he will list the categories of corrosive, flammable and toxic substances dangerous to life; whether he has plans to extend the list and to widen the scope of the definition of special waste; and if he will make a statement;
(2) if he will introduce legislation to define hazardous waste and to establish controls over its disposal; and if he will make a statement;
(3) if he has any plans to introduce amendments to the Control of Pollution (Special Waste) Regulations 1980 to provide greater protection to the environment from waste disposal; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Moynihan
The term hazardous waste is not well defined as almost all waste is potentially hazardous in some circumstances. In United Kingdom legislation the term "special waste" is used to describe wastes which are dangerous or difficult to dispose of. The Control of Pollution (Special Waste) Regulations 1980 list 31 substances and the criteria to be applied to them to determine whether they are in a form which poses a risk to human life. The regulations impose controls on the movement of these wastes so that waste disposal authorities can ensure they are sent to facilities licensed to deal with them.
A consultation paper reviewing the special waste regulations is planned for later this year. This will include consideration of the extent to which the list of substances and the toxicity criteria require amendment to ensure proper protection for human health and the environment.