Updated general technical guidelines for the environmentally sound management of wastes consisting of, containing or contaminated with persistent organic pollutants (pops)




НазваниеUpdated general technical guidelines for the environmentally sound management of wastes consisting of, containing or contaminated with persistent organic pollutants (pops)
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Relevant provisions of the Basel and Stockholm conventions


  1. In addition to the Basel and Stockholm conventions there are other international instruments related to POPs. These are listed in annex I below.

A. Basel Convention

1. General provisions

  1. The Basel Convention, which entered into force on 5 May 1992, stipulates that any transboundary movement of wastes (export, import, or transit) is permitted only when the movement itself and the disposal of the concerned hazardous or other wastes are environmentally sound.

  2. In its Article 2 (“Definitions”), paragraph 1, the Basel Convention defines wastes as “substances or objects which are disposed of or are intended to be disposed of or are required to be disposed of by the provisions of national law”. In paragraph 4 of that Article, it defines disposal as “any operation specified in Annex IV” to the Convention. In paragraph 8, it defines the environmentally sound management of hazardous wastes or other wastes as “taking all practicable steps to ensure that hazardous wastes or other wastes are managed in a manner which will protect human health and the environment against the adverse effects which may result from such wastes”.

  3. Article 4 (“General obligations”), paragraph 1, establishes the procedure by which Parties exercising their right to prohibit the import of hazardous wastes or other wastes for disposal shall inform the other Parties of their decision. Paragraph 1 (a) states: “Parties exercising their right to prohibit the import of hazardous or other wastes for disposal shall inform the other Parties of their decision pursuant to Article 13.” Paragraph 1 (b) states: “Parties shall prohibit or shall not permit the export of hazardous or other wastes to the Parties which have prohibited the import of such waste when notified pursuant to subparagraph (a).”

  4. Article 4, paragraphs 2 (a)–(d), contains key provisions of the Basel Convention pertaining to ESM, waste minimization, and waste disposal practices that mitigate adverse effects on human health and the environment:

“Each Party shall take appropriate measures to:

(a) Ensure that the generation of hazardous wastes and other wastes within it is reduced to a minimum, taking into account social, technological and economic aspects;

(b) Ensure the availability of adequate disposal facilities, for the environmentally sound management of hazardous wastes and other wastes, that shall be located, to the extent possible, within it, whatever the place of their disposal;

(c) Ensure that persons involved in the management of hazardous wastes or other wastes within it take such steps as are necessary to prevent pollution due to hazardous wastes and other wastes arising from such management and, if such pollution occurs, to minimize the consequences thereof for human health and the environment;

(d) Ensure that the transboundary movement of hazardous wastes and other wastes is reduced to the minimum consistent with the environmentally sound and efficient management of such wastes, and is conducted in a manner which will protect human health and the environment against the adverse effects which may result from such movement”.

2. POPs-related provisions

  1. Article 1 (“Scope of the Convention”) defines the waste types subject to the Basel Convention. Subparagraph (a) of that Article sets forth a two-step process for determining whether a “waste” is a “hazardous waste” subject to the Convention: first, the waste must belong to any category contained in Annex I to the Convention (“Categories of wastes to be controlled”), and second, the waste must possess at least one of the characteristics listed in Annex III to the Convention (“List of hazardous characteristics”).

  2. Examples of Annex I wastes which may consist of, contain or be contaminated with POPs include:

Y2 Wastes from the production and preparation of pharmaceutical products

Y3 Waste pharmaceuticals, drugs and medicines

Y4 Wastes from the production, formulation and use of biocides and phytopharmaceuticals

Y5 Wastes from the manufacture, formulation and use of wood preserving chemicals

Y6 Wastes from the production, formulation and use of organic solvents

Y7 Wastes from heat treatment and tempering operations containing cyanides

Y8 Waste mineral oils unfit for their originally intended use

Y9 Waste oils/water, hydrocarbons/water mixtures, emulsions

Y10 Waste substances and articles containing or contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and/or polychlorinated terphenyls (PCTs) and/or polybrominated biphenyls (PBBs)

Y11 Waste tarry residues arising from refining, distillation and any pyrolytic treatment

Y12 Wastes from production, formulation and use of inks, dyes, pigments, paints, lacquers, varnish

Y13 Wastes from production, formulation and use of resins, latex, plasticizers, glues/adhesives

Y14 Waste chemical substances arising from research and development or teaching activities which are not identified and/or are new and whose effects on man and/or the environment are not known

Y16 Wastes from production, formulation and use of photographic chemicals and processing materials

Y17 Wastes resulting from surface treatment of metals and plastics

Y18 Residues arising from industrial waste disposal operations

Y39 Phenols; phenol compounds including chlorophenols

Y40 Ethers

Y41 Halogenated organic solvents

Y42 Organic solvents excluding halogenated solvents

Y43 Any congener of polychlorinated dibenzo-furan

Y44 Any congener of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxin

Y45 Organohalogen compounds other than substances referred to in this Annex (e.g., Y39, Y41, Y42, Y43, Y44)

  1. PCDDs and PCDFs, for example, can be formed unintentionally during the manufacture of chlorophenols, which have been used in the preservation of wood, paints and glues, as well as during the manufacture of other industrial chemicals and pesticides. PCDDs and PCDFs can also be found in slags and fly ashes produced during industrial waste disposal operations. Several of the pesticide POPs have been or are being used as biocides. PCBs have been widely used in the past in paint additives, adhesives and plastics. HCB has been used as an intermediate or additive in various manufacturing processes, including the production of synthetic rubber, pyrotechnics and ammunition, dyes and pentachlorophenol. In addition, both PCBs and HCB are known to be formed through the same processes that create PCDDs and PCDFs.

  2. Annex I wastes are presumed to exhibit one or more Annex III hazard characteristics, which may include H11 “Toxic (delayed or chronic)”, H12 “Ecotoxic” and H6.1 “Poisonous (acute)”, unless, through “national tests”, they can be shown not to exhibit such characteristics. National tests may be useful for identifying a particular hazard characteristic listed in Annex III until such time as the hazardous characteristic is fully defined. Guidance papers for each Annex III hazard characteristic are currently being developed under the Basel Convention.

  3. List A of Annex VIII of the Convention describes wastes that are “characterized as hazardous under Article 1 paragraph 1 (a) of this Convention” although “Designation of a waste on Annex VIII does not preclude the use of Annex III (hazard characteristics) to demonstrate that a waste is not hazardous” (Annex I, paragraph (b)). List B of Annex IX lists wastes which “will not be wastes covered by Article 1, paragraph 1 (a), of this Convention unless they contain Annex I material to an extent causing them to exhibit an Annex III characteristic”. The following Annex VIII waste characteristics in particular are applicable to POPs:

(a) PCBs, PCTs and PBBs


A1180 Waste electrical and electronic assemblies or scrap3 containing components such as accumulators and other batteries included on list A, mercury-switches, glass from cathode-ray tubes and other activated glass and PCB-capacitors, or contaminated with Annex I constituents (e.g., cadmium, mercury, lead, polychlorinated biphenyl) to an extent that they possess any of the characteristics contained in Annex III (note the related entry on list B B1110)4

A3180 Wastes, substances and articles containing, consisting of or contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB), polychlorinated terphenyl (PCT), polychlorinated naphthalene (PCN) or polybrominated biphenyl (PBB), or any other polybrominated analogues of these compounds, at a concentration level of 50 mg/kg or more5

(b) Pesticide POPs, including aldrin, chlordane, DDT, dieldrin, endrin, HCB, heptachlor, mirex and toxaphene


A4030 Wastes from the production, formulation and use of biocides and phytopharmaceuticals, including waste pesticides and herbicides, which are off-specification, outdated6, or unfit for their originally intended use

(c) PCDDs and PCDFs


A4110 Wastes that contain, consist of or are contaminated with any of the following:

  • Any congener of polychlorinated dibenzofuran

  • Any congener of polychlorinated dibenzodioxin

  1. List A of Annex VIII includes a number of wastes or waste categories that have the potential to contain or be contaminated with POPs, including:

A1090 Ashes from the incineration of insulated copper wire

A1100 Dusts and residues from gas cleaning systems of copper smelters

A2040 Waste gypsum arising from chemical industry processes, when containing Annex I constituents to the extent that it exhibits an Annex III hazardous characteristic (note the related entry on list B B2080)

A2060 Coal-fired power plant fly ash containing Annex I substances in concentrations sufficient to exhibit Annex III characteristics (note the related entry on list B B2050)

A3020 Waste mineral oils unfit for their originally intended use

A3040 Waste thermal (heat transfer) fluids

A3050 Wastes from production, formulation and use of resins, latex, plasticizers, glue/adhesives excluding such wastes specified on list B (note the related entry on list B B4020)

A3070 Waste phenols; phenol compounds including chlorophenol in the form of liquids or sludges

A 3090 Waste leather dust, ash, sludges and flours when containing hexavalent chromium compounds or biocides (note the related entry on list B B3100)

A3100 Waste paring and other waste of leather or of composition leather not suitable for the manufacture of leather articles containing hexavalent chromium compounds or biocides (note the related entry on list B B3090)

A3110 Fellmongery wastes containing hexavalent chromium compounds or biocides or infectious substances (note the related entry on list B B3110)

A3120 Fluff – light fraction from shredding

A3150 Waste halogenated organic solvents

A3160 Waste halogenated or unhalogenated non-aqueous distillation residues arising from organic solvent recovery operations

A4010 Wastes from the production, preparation and use of pharmaceutical products but excluding such wastes specified on list B

A4020 Clinical and related wastes; that is wastes arising from medical, nursing, dental, veterinary, or similar practices, and wastes generated in hospitals or other facilities during the investigation or treatment of patients, or research projects

A4040 Wastes from the manufacture formulation and use of wood preserving chemicals7

A4070 Wastes from the production, formulation and use of inks, dyes, pigments, paints, lacquers, varnish excluding any such waste specified on list B (note the related entry on list B B4010)

A4100 Wastes from industrial pollution control devices for cleaning of industrial off-gases but excluding such wastes specified on list B

A4130 Waste packages and containers containing Annex I substances in concentrations sufficient to exhibit Annex III hazard characteristics

A4140 Wastes consisting of or containing off specification or outdated8 chemicals corresponding to Annex I categories and exhibiting Annex III hazard characteristics

A4150 Waste chemical substances arising from research and development or teaching activities which are not identified and/or are new and whose effects on human health and/or the environment are not known

A4160 Spent activated carbon not included on list B (note the related entry on list B B2060)

  1. As stated in Article 1, paragraph 1 (b), “Wastes that are not covered under paragraph (a) but are defined as, or are considered to be, hazardous wastes by the domestic legislation of the Party of export, import or transit” are also subject to the Basel Convention.

B. Stockholm Convention

1. General provisions

  1. The objective of the Stockholm Convention, which entered into force on 17 May 2004, is set forth in article 1 (“Objective”): “Mindful of the precautionary approach as set forth in Principle 15 of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, the objective of this Convention is to protect human health and the environment from persistent organic pollutants”.

  2. The Stockholm Convention differentiates between two categories of POPs:

  1. Intentionally produced POPs, whose production and use are to be:

(i) Eliminated in accordance with the provisions of article 3 and Annex A; or

(ii) Restricted in accordance with the provisions of article 3 and Annex B;

  1. Unintentionally produced POPs, for which Parties are required to take measures, in accordance with article 5 and Annex C, to reduce total releases derived from anthropogenic sources, with the goal of their continuing minimization and, where feasible, ultimate elimination.

  1. Under article 7 (“Implementation plans”), paragraph 1, the Convention requires each Party to:

“(a) Develop and endeavour to implement a plan for the implementation of its obligations under the Convention;

(b) Transmit its implementation plan to the Conference of the Parties within two years of the date on which this Convention enters into force for it; and

(c) Review and update, as appropriate, its implementation plan on a periodic basis and in a manner to be specified by a decision of the Conference of the Parties.”

2. Waste-related provisions

  1. Article 6 (“Measures to reduce or eliminate releases from stockpiles and wastes”) sets forth waste related provisions as follows:

“1. In order to ensure that stockpiles consisting of or containing chemicals listed either in Annex A or Annex B and wastes, including products and articles upon becoming wastes, consisting of, containing or contaminated with a chemical listed in Annex A, B or C, are managed in a manner protective of human health and the environment, each Party shall:

(a) Develop appropriate strategies for identifying:

(i) Stockpiles consisting of or containing chemicals listed either in Annex A or Annex B; and

(ii) Products and articles in use and wastes consisting of, containing or contaminated with a chemical listed in Annex A, B or C;

(b) Identify, to the extent practicable, stockpiles consisting of or containing chemicals listed either in Annex A or Annex B on the basis of the strategies referred to in subparagraph (a);

(c) Manage stockpiles, as appropriate, in a safe, efficient and environmentally sound manner. Stockpiles of chemicals listed either in Annex A or Annex B, after they are no longer allowed to be used according to any specific exemption specified in Annex A or any specific exemption or acceptable purpose specified in Annex B, except stockpiles which are allowed to be exported according to paragraph 2 of Article 3, shall be deemed to be waste and shall be managed in accordance with subparagraph (d);

(d) Take appropriate measures so that such wastes, including products and articles upon becoming wastes, are:

(i) Handled, collected, transported and stored in an environmentally sound manner;

(ii) Disposed of in such a way that the persistent organic pollutant content is destroyed or irreversibly transformed so that they do not exhibit the characteristics of persistent organic pollutants or otherwise disposed of in an environmentally sound manner when destruction or irreversible transformation does not represent the environmentally preferable option or the persistent organic pollutant content is low, taking into account international rules, standards, and guidelines, including those that may be developed pursuant to paragraph 2, and relevant global and regional regimes governing the management of hazardous wastes;

(iii) Not permitted to be subjected to disposal operations that may lead to recovery, recycling, reclamation, direct reuse or alternative uses of persistent organic pollutants; and

(iv) Not transported across international boundaries without taking into account relevant international rules, standards and guidelines;

(e) Endeavour to develop appropriate strategies for identifying sites contaminated by chemicals listed in Annex A, B or C; if remediation of those sites is undertaken it shall be performed in an environmentally sound manner.

2. The Conference of the Parties shall cooperate closely with the appropriate bodies of the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal to, inter alia:

(a) Establish levels of destruction and irreversible transformation necessary to ensure that the characteristics of persistent organic pollutants as specified in paragraph 1 of Annex D are not exhibited;

(b) Determine what they consider to be the methods that constitute environmentally sound disposal referred to above; and

(c) Work to establish, as appropriate, the concentration levels of the chemicals listed in Annexes A, B and C in order to define the low persistent organic pollutant content referred to in paragraph 1 (d) (ii).”

  1. Article 3, paragraph 2 (a) (i), pertaining to imports, stipulates: “Each Party shall take measures to ensure that a chemical listed in Annex A or Annex B is imported only for the purpose of environmentally sound disposal as set forth in paragraph 1 (d) of Article 6.” Similarly, article 3, paragraph 2 (b) (i), requires that: “Each Party take measures to ensure that a chemical listed in Annex A for which any production or use specific exemption is in effect or a chemical listed in Annex B for which any production or use specific exemption or acceptable purpose is in effect, taking into account any relevant provisions in existing international prior informed consent instruments, is exported only for the purpose of environmentally sound disposal as set forth in paragraph 1 (d) of Article 6.”

  2. Annex C, Part II, outlines industrial source categories that have the potential for comparatively high formation and release to the environment of POPs listed in Annex C. Part III outlines source categories from which POPs listed in Annex C may be unintentionally formed and released. Part V outlines general guidance on BAT and BEP.
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