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the European Union defines waste as an object the holder discards, intends to discard or is required to discard is waste under the Waste Framework Directive (European Directive 75/442/EC as amended).
Once a substance or object has become waste, it will remain waste until it has been fully recovered and no longer poses a potential threat to the environment or to human health."

The UK's Environmental Protection Act 1990 indicated waste includes any substance which constitutes a scrap material, an effluent or other unwanted surplus arising from the application of any process or any substance or article which requires to be disposed of which has been broken, worn out, contaminated or otherwise spoiled; this is supplemented with anything which is discarded otherwise dealt with as if it were waste shall be presumed to be waste unless the contrary is proved. This definition was amended by the waste management Licensing Regulations 1994 defining waste as:
"any substance or object which the producer or the person in possession of it, discards or intends or is required to discard but with exception of anything excluded from the scope of the waste Directive".
waste conformance analysis
waste consolidation
waste control analysis on site
waste directive
waste disposal
waste hierarchy

waste hierarchy refers to the 3Rs of reduce, reuse and recycle, which classify waste management strategies according to their desirability. The 3Rs are meant to be a hierarchy, in order of importance.However in Europe the waste hierarchy has 5 steps: reduce, reuse, recycle, recovery and disposal.

The waste hierarchy has taken many forms over the past decade, but the basic concept has remained the cornerstone of most waste minimisation strategies. The aim of the waste hierarchy is to extract the maximum practical benefits from products and to generate the minimum amount of waste.

Some waste management experts have recently incorporated a "fourth R": "Re-think", with the implied meaning that the present system may have fundamental flaws, and that a thoroughly effective system of waste management may need an entirely new way of looking at waste. Source reduction involves efforts to reduce hazardous waste and other materials by modifying industrial production. Source reduction methods involve changes in manufacturing technology, raw material inputs, and product formulation. At times, the term "pollution prevention" may refer to source reduction.

Another method of source reduction is to increase incentives for recycling.

Source reduction is typically measured by efficiencies and cutbacks in waste. Toxics use reduction is a more controversial approach to source reduction that targets and measures reductions in the upstream use of toxic materials. Toxics use reduction emphasizes the more preventive aspects of source reduction but, due to its emphasis on toxic chemical inputs, has been opposed more vigorously by chemical manufacturers.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waste_hierarchy

waste incineration

waste incineration is a disposal method that involves combustion of waste material. Incineration and other high temperature waste treatment systems are sometimes described as "thermal treatment". Incinerators convert waste materials into heat, gas, steam and ash.

Incineration is carried out both on a small scale by individuals and on a large scale by industry. It is used to dispose of solid, liquid and gaseous waste. It is recognized as a practical method of disposing of certain hazardous waste materials (such as biological medical waste). Incineration is a controversial method of waste disposal, due to issues such as emission of gaseous pollutants.

Incineration is common in countries such as Japan where land is more scarce, as these facilities generally do not require as much area as landfills. Waste-to-energy (WtE) or energy-from-waste (EfW) are broad terms for facilities that burn waste in a furnace or boiler to generate heat, steam and/or electricity. Combustion in an incinerator is not always perfect and there have been concerns about micro-pollutants in gaseous emissions from incinerator stacks. Particular concern has focused on some very persistent organics such as dioxins, furans, PAHs,... which may be created within the incinerator and afterwards in the incinerator plume which may have serious environmental consequences in the area immediately around the incinerator. On the other hand this method or the more benign anaerobic digestion produces heat that can be used as energy.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waste_management

waste land, lea-land

land out of crop for longer time.

waste management

waste management is the control of the collection, treatment and disposal of different wastes. This is in order to reduce the negative impacts waste has on environment and society. There are many waste types, notably including municipal solid waste, industrial and commercial waste, and hazardous waste.

waste parameter analysis
waste pretreatment
waste prevention

waste prevention is the preferred approach of the integrated waste management.

If we create less waste, we consume fewer resources and we don't have to spend as much money to recycle or dispose of our waste. Individuals and businesses can often save a significant amount of money through waste prevention.

Waste prevention means reusing things, instead of buying new stuff. It also means "reducing." When a company reduces the amount of packaging for a product, that's called "source reduction," which is a form of waste prevention. Reducing toxics is also waste prevention.

waste reuse and recycle

waste reuse means that the discarded items or its elements are used again. Initiatives include hand-me-downs, garage sales, quilting, and composting (nutrients).

Waste recycling means that waste are separated into materials that may be incorporated into new products. This is different from reuse in that energy is used to change the physical properties of the material. Initiatives include composting, beverage container deposits and buying products with a high content of post-consumer material.

Type of waste recycling is capturing useful material from waste to energy programs. Includes methane collection, gasification and digestion, etc.

Incineration means high temperature destruction of material. Differs from gasification in that oxygen is used; differs from burning in that high temperatures consume material efficiently and emissions are controlled.

waste sorting plant, waste selection plant
waste stabilization in bioreactor

a bioreactor landfill operates to rapidly transform and degrade organic waste. The increase in waste degradation and stabilization is accomplished through the addition of liquid and air to enhance microbial processes. This bioreactor concept differs from the traditional "dry tomb" municipal landfill approach.

A bioreactor landfill is not just a single design and will correspond to the operational process invoked. There are three different general types of bioreactor landfill configurations:

  • Aerobic - Leachate is removed from the bottom layer, piped to liquids storage tanks, and recirculated into the landfill in a controlled manner. Air is injected into the waste mass, using vertical or horizontal wells, to promote aerobic activity and accelerate waste stabilization.
  • Anaerobic - Moisture is added to the waste mass in the form of recirculated leachate and other sources to obtain optimal moisture levels. Biodegradation occurs in the absence of oxygen (anaerobically) and produces landfill gas. Landfill gas, primarily methane, can be captured to minimize greenhouse gas emissions and for energy projects.
  • Hybrid (Aerobic-Anaerobic) - The hybrid bioreactor landfill accelerates waste degradation by employing a sequential aerobic-anaerobic treatment to rapidly degrade organics in the upper sections of the landfill and collect gas from lower sections. Operation as a hybrid results in an earlier onset of methanogenesis compared to aerobic landfills.

The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) has defined a bioreactor landfill as "any permitted Subtitle D landfill or landfill cell where liquid or air is injected in a controlled fashion into the waste mass in order to accelerate or enhance biostabilization of the waste." The U.S. EPA is currently collecting information on the advantages and disadvantages of bioreactor landfills through case studies of existing landfills and additional data so that EPA can identify specific bioreactor standards or recommend operating parameters.
Source: US-EPA, Clu-In − http://www.clu-in.org/techfocus/default.focus/sec/Bioreactor_Landfills/cat/Overview/

waste treatment site and plant
waste utilisation
waste water collection system and waste water treatment plant
waste water treatment by living machines
the spent or used water from a home, community, farm, or industry that contains dissolved or suspended matter.
water and sanitation

field dealing with drinking water and hygienic aspects. (Source: EUGRIS)

water body

a discrete and significant element of surface water such as a lake, a reservoir, a stream, river or canal, part of a stream, river or canal, a transitional water or a stretch of coastal water.

water capacity of the soil
water conductivity in soil
water damage
water distribution channel
water extraction well
water intended for human consumption
water licence register
water management
water permeability of the soil
water plant
water pollutant
water pollutant emission
water pollution

water pollution means the discharge by man, directly or indirectly, of substances or energy into the aquatic environment, the results of which are such as to cause hazards to human health, harm to living resources and to aquatic ecosystems, damage to amenities or interference with other legitimate uses of water.

water pollution source
water quality standard
water quality, priority substances

from the point of view of water quality some chemical substances have priority. These are the substances identified in accordance with Article 16(2) and listed in Annex X of Water Framework Directive. Among these substances there are "priority hazardous substances" which means substances identified in accordance with Article 16(3) and (6) for which measures have to be taken in accordance with Article 16(1) and (8).

The substances on the first priority list are the following:



Priority substance name




















not applicable

Brominated diphenylether





Cadmium and its compounds




Chloroalkanes, C10-13





















Di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP)










not applicable





























Lead and its compounds




Mercury and its compounds









Nickel and its compounds










not applicable












not applicable

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons









Tributyltin compounds



not applicable














water resources management
water scarcity and drought

water scarcity and drought are different phenomena although they are liable to aggravate the impacts of each other. In some regions, the severity and frequency of droughts can lead to water scarcity situations, while overexploitation of available water resources can exacerbate the consequences of droughts. Therefore, attention needs to be paid to the synergies between these two phenomena, especially in river basins affected by water scarcity.

Water scarcity occurs where there are insufficient water resources to satisfy long-term average requirements. It refers to long-term water imbalances, combining low water availability with a level of water demand exceeding the supply capacity of the natural system.

Water availability problems frequently appear in areas with low rainfall but also in areas with high population density, intensive irrigation and/or industrial activity. Large spatial and temporal differences in the amount of water available are observed across Europe.

Beyond water quantity, a situation of water scarcity can also emerge from acute water quality issues (e.g. diffuse or point source pollutions) which lead to reduced fresh/clean water availability.

Currently the main way of assessing Water Scarcity is by means of the Water Exploitation Index (WEI) applied on different scales (i.e. national, river basin). The WEI is the average demand for freshwater divided by the long-term average freshwater resources. It illustrates to which extent the total water demand puts pressure on the available water resource in a given territory and points out the territories that have high water demand compared to their resources.

The maps attached as links show the WEI for the European river basins in 2000 and for a forecasted scenario in 2030.

water services

all services which provide, for households, public institutions or any economic activity: (a) abstraction, impoundment, storage, treatment and distribution of surface water or groundwater, (b) waste-water collection and treatment facilities which subsequently discharge into surface water.

water solubility

specified by the saturation mass concentration of the substance in water at a given temperature, expressed in kg/m3 or g/l. A physico-chemical parameter required by REACH. This property is not a Classification and Labelling (C&L) (classification and labelling of chemicals) criterion as such. It applies to substances unless there is existing additional scientific evidence concerning degradation and/or toxicity, sufficient to provide an adequate assurance that neither the substance nor its degradation products will constitute a potential long-term and/or delayed danger to the aquatic community. (http://www.prc.cnrs-gif.fr/reach/en/physicochemical_data.html) The study does not need to be conducted if the substance is hydrolytically unstable at pH 4, 7 and 9 (half-life less than 12 hours); or the substance is readily oxidisable in water. If the substance appears "insoluble" in water, a limit test up to the detection limit of the analytical method shall be performed.

water source
water supply

the whole system which provides water, including its source in surface water and/or groundwater, its treatment to get drinking water, its storage and its transport for industrial, agricultural or domestic uses. (Source: EUGRIS)

water use

water services together with any other activity identified under Article 5 and Annex II of WFD having a significant impact on the status of water.

water well register
water-cycle in the soil
waterbody status