What is a EWL code and what is it for?

  • 09/06/2022
  • Spain

The unified classification of waste is essential in order to catalogue and manage the different existing materials in a homogeneous way. For this purpose, there is a harmonised waste list at European level: the European Waste List (EWL) within which we find different codes consisting of 6 digits. 

In the case of the EWL codes, the division is as follows:
•    20 chapters relating to the generating source or type of waste (2-digit codes).
•    Sub-chapters referring to the generation processes, the resulting materials or the type of waste (4-digit codes).  

What does the asterisk* in an EWL code mean?
•    Wastes with an EWL code followed by an asterisk (*) are considered as hazardous waste.
•    Waste whose EWL code is NOT followed by an asterisk (*) is considered NOT hazardous. 

Mirror EWL code. What is it?
This type of code is applied to wastes that can be classified as hazardous and non-hazardous and only vary by one characteristic.  Therefore, for its classification it is important to take into account its composition and in the event that it cannot be determined or "to evaluate the hazardous characteristics of the waste in question, it must be classified as hazardous waste in application of the precautionary principle," according to the Ministry for Ecological Transition (MITECO).

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