HP 14 classification of mirror entries in the List of Wastes – proposals for further developing the German ‘Recommendations for the ecotoxicological characterization of wastes’

According to Directive 2008/98/EG in connection with Decision 2000/532/EC (European List of Wastes, LoW), waste has to be classified as hazardous or non-hazardous. The LoW contains ‘absolute hazardous entries’ (wastes that are hazardous without further assessment), ‘absolute non-hazardous entries’ (wastes that are non-hazardous without further assessment) and ‘mirror entries’ (wastes that can be classified as either hazardous or non-hazardous, depending on their properties). A waste is defined as hazardous, if it displays at least one of 15 hazard properties. The hazard property ‘ecotoxic’ (HP 14) can be evaluated using a calculation approach based on the content of hazardous substances in a waste sample or using ecotoxicity tests with the respective waste sample or a waste sample eluate. In several EU member states including Germany, recommendations for the ecotoxicological characterisation of wastes have been published. However, there is no harmonised guidance for evaluation of the hazard property ‘ecotoxic’ (HP 14) using ecotoxicity tests.

The present project was initiated to verify and further develop the ‘Recommendations for the ecotoxicological characterisation of wastes’ published by the German Environment Agency in 2013. In a first step, a literature search is performed to (1) identify national and international approaches for evaluating the hazard property ‘ecotoxic’ (HP 14) of waste using ecotoxicity tests and (2) to verify the set of test methods recommended by the German Environment Agency (2013) in view of the current state of science. Based on the results of this literature search, suggestions will be made how to adapt and further develop the German strategy for ecotoxicological characterisation of wastes. In a second step, the modified strategy will be used to characterise ten waste samples belonging to mirror entries with regard to the hazard property ‘ecotoxic’. Special attention will be placed on obtaining representative waste samples and eluates for use in the bioassays. For each waste, three aquatic and three terrestrial ecotoxicity tests will be performed. In addition, the waste samples will be classified – as far as possible – based on their content of hazardous substances. The results will be discussed in a workshop with stakeholders.