Directive 2006/12/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 April 2006 on waste (Text with EEA relevance)

Coming into Force17 May 2006
End of Effective Date11 December 2010
Celex Number32006L0012
Published date27 April 2006
Date05 April 2006
Official Gazette PublicationOfficial Journal of the European Union, L 114, 27 April 2006
27.4.2006 EN Official Journal of the European Union L 114/9


of 5 April 2006

on waste

(Text with EEA relevance)


Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community, and in particular Article 175 thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the Commission,

Having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee (1),

After consulting the Committee of the Regions,

Acting in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 251 of the Treaty (2),


(1) Council Directive 75/442/EEC of 15 July 1975 on waste (3) has been significantly amended on several occasions (4). In order to clarify matters, a codification of the provisions in question should be drawn up.
(2) The essential objective of all provisions relating to waste management should be the protection of human health and the environment against harmful effects caused by the collection, transport, treatment, storage and tipping of waste.
(3) Common terminology and a definition of waste are needed in order to improve the efficiency of waste management in the Community.
(4) Effective and consistent rules on waste disposal and recovery should be applied, subject to certain exceptions, to movable property which the holder discards or intends or is required to discard.
(5) The recovery of waste and the use of recovered materials as raw materials should be encouraged in order to conserve natural resources. It may be necessary to adopt specific rules for re‐usable waste.
(6) In order to achieve a high level of environmental protection, Member States should, in addition to taking responsible action to ensure the disposal and recovery of waste, take measures to restrict the production of waste particularly by promoting clean technologies and products which can be recycled and re‐used, taking into consideration existing or potential market opportunities for recovered waste.
(7) Moreover, discrepancies between Member States’ legislation with regard to waste disposal and recovery may affect the quality of the environment and the smooth operation of the internal market.
(8) It is important for the Community as a whole to become self‐sufficient in waste disposal and desirable for Member States individually to aim at such self‐sufficiency.
(9) In order to achieve those objectives, waste management plans should be drawn up in the Member States.
(10) Movements of waste should be reduced and Member States may take the necessary measures to that end in their management plans.
(11) To ensure a high level of protection and effective control, it is necessary to provide for authorisation and inspection of undertakings which carry out waste disposal and recovery.
(12) Subject to certain conditions, and provided that they comply with environmental protection requirements, some establishments which process their waste themselves or carry out waste recovery may be exempted from permit requirements. Such establishments should be subject to registration.
(13) In order that waste can be monitored from its production to its final disposal, other undertakings involved with waste, such as waste collectors, carriers and brokers should also be subject to authorisation or registration and appropriate inspection.
(14) That proportion of the costs not covered by the proceeds of treating the waste must be defrayed in accordance with the ‘polluter pays’ principle.
(15) The measures necessary for the implementation of this Directive should be adopted in accordance with Council Decision 1999/468/EC of 28 June 1999 laying down the procedures for the exercise of implementing powers conferred on the Commission (5).
(16) This Directive should be without prejudice to the obligations of the Member States relating to the time-limits for transposition into national law of the Directives listed in Part B of Annex III,


Article 1

1. For the purposes of this Directive:

(a) ‘waste’ shall mean any substance or object in the categories set out in Annex I which the holder discards or intends or is required to discard;
(b) ‘producer’ shall mean anyone whose activities produce waste (‘original producer’) and/or anyone who carries out pre‐processing, mixing or other operations resulting in a change in the nature or composition of this waste;
(c) ‘holder’ shall mean the producer of the waste or the natural or legal person who is in possession of it;
(d) ‘management’ shall mean the collection, transport, recovery and disposal of waste, including the supervision of such operations and after‐care of disposal sites;
(e) ‘disposal’ shall mean any of the operations provided for in Annex II A;
(f) ‘recovery’ shall mean any of the operations provided for in Annex II B;
(g) ‘collection’ shall mean the gathering, sorting and/or mixing of waste for the purpose of transport.

2. For the purposes of paragraph 1, point (a), the Commission, acting in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 18(3), shall draw up a list of waste belonging to the categories listed in Annex I. This list shall be periodically reviewed and, if necessary, revised in accordance with the same procedure.

Article 2

1. The following shall be excluded from the scope of this Directive:

(a) gaseous effluents emitted into the atmosphere;
(b) where they are already covered by other legislation:
(i) radioactive waste;
(ii) waste resulting from prospecting, extraction, treatment and storage of mineral resources and the working of quarries;
(iii) animal carcases and the following agricultural waste: faecal matter and other natural, non‐dangerous substances used in farming;
(iv) waste waters, with the exception of waste in liquid form;
(v) decommissioned explosives.

2. Specific rules for particular instances, or supplementing those of this Directive, on the management of particular categories of waste, may be laid down by means of individual Directives.

Article 3

1. Member States shall take appropriate measures to encourage:

(a) first, the prevention or reduction of waste production and its harmfulness, in particular by:
(i) the development of clean technologies more sparing in their use of natural resources;
(ii) the technical development and marketing of products designed so as to make no contribution or to make the smallest possible contribution, by the nature of their manufacture, use or disposal, to increasing the amount or harmfulness of waste and pollution hazards;
(iii) the development of appropriate techniques for the final disposal of dangerous substances contained in waste destined for recovery;
(b) second:
(i) the recovery of waste by means of recycling, re‐use or reclamation or any other process with a view to extracting secondary raw materials; or
(ii) the use of waste as a source of energy.

2. Except where Directive 98/34/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 June 1998 laying down a procedure for the provision of information in the field of technical standards and regulations (6) applies, Member States shall inform the Commission of any measures they intend to take to achieve the aims set out in paragraph 1. The Commission shall inform the other Member States and the Committee referred to in Article 18(1) of such measures.

Article 4

1. Member States shall take the necessary measures to ensure that waste is recovered or disposed of without endangering human health and without using processes or methods which could harm the environment, and in particular:

(a) without risk to water, air or soil, or to plants or animals;
(b) without causing a nuisance through noise or odours;
(c) without adversely affecting the countryside or places of special interest.

2. Member States shall take the necessary measures to prohibit the abandonment, dumping or uncontrolled disposal of waste.

Article 5

1. Member States shall take appropriate measures, in cooperation with other Member States where this is necessary or advisable, to establish an integrated and adequate network of disposal installations, taking account of the best available technology not involving excessive costs. The network must enable the Community as a whole to become self‐sufficient in waste disposal and the Member States to move towards that aim individually, taking into account geographical circumstances or the need for specialised installations for certain types of waste.

2. The network referred to in paragraph 1 must enable waste to be disposed of in one of the nearest appropriate installations, by means of the most appropriate methods and technologies in order to ensure a high level of protection for the environment and public health.

Article 6

Member States shall establish or designate the competent authority or authorities to be responsible for implementing this Directive.

Article 7

1. In order to attain the objectives referred to in Articles 3, 4 and 5, the competent authority or authorities referred to in Article 6 shall be required to draw up as soon as possible one or more waste management plans. Such plans shall relate in particular to:

(a) the type, quantity and origin of waste to be recovered or disposed of;
(b) general technical requirements;
(c) any special arrangements

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