The 2016 National Inventory of Hazardous Wastes was released by MEP together with NDRC and Ministry of Public Security and shall be enforced as of August 1, 2016. The compilation of the latest inventory adhered to the problem-oriented as well as continuity, practicability, and updating-based principles, not only adjusting the inventory of hazardous wastes but also adding a list of exempted hazardous wastes.
Since the original version was prepared in 2008, the National Inventory of Hazardous Wastes has played an essential role in supporting the hazardous waste management in China. However, with the progressive management of hazardous wastes in China, as well as the enforcement of the Interpretations of the Supreme Court and Supreme Procuratorate on Some Issues concerning the Application of Laws on Settling Environmental Pollution Criminal Cases, the 2008 version no longer met the requirements for hazardous waste management in China and was in dire need of updating.
In this version, the hazardous wastes are reclassified into 479 varieties under 46 categories (including 362 varieties from the previous version and 117 new additions). The HW06 organic solvent wastes, HW41 waste halogenated organic solvents, HW42 waste organic solvents in the previous version were combined as HW06 waste organic solvents and wastes containing organic solvents; HW43 wastes containing polychlorinated benzofuran and HW44 wastes containing polychlorinated benzodioxins, the description of which caused discrepancy before and identification was needed to distinguish them, are deleted; and HW50 waste catalysts are added to the latest version. The 117 new additions to the hazardous wastes are based on the scientific research findings, the experience accumulated in the identification of hazardous wastes, and the feedback for the exposure draft. Most of them are the more specific categories of HW11 fine distillation residues and HW50 waste catalysts.
In this version, the List of Exempted Hazardous Wastes is added to raise the management efficiency. The hazardous wastes in this list will be exempted from management at specified stages, under relevant conditions, and in accordance with related descriptions. The list contains 16 varieties of hazardous wastes, and seven of them have already been exempted by relevant environmental standards at a certain stage, for example, the flying ash from incineration of municipal solid wastes may, after meeting the criteria for being processed in a landfill site, be landfilled in a municipal solid waste landfill site (a business license for handling of hazardous wastes not required for the site concerned). As for the remaining nine ones, based on existing researches, their environmental risks may certainly be accepted if they were exempted at a certain stage. For example, the waste electric circuit boards may not be transported as hazardous waste under the condition that the transport vehicles are rain-, leakage-, and scattering-proof.
The promulgation and enforcement of the 2016 National Inventory of Hazardous Wastes will push forward the science-based and delicacy management of hazardous wastes and play a pivotal role in taking precautions against hazardous wastes and improving the ecological and environmental quality.