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Waste Disposal: Incinerators

Volume 471: debated on Friday 1 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) whether he plans to consult local authorities on the implications for incineration waste disposal costs of reclassification of bottom ash as hazardous waste; (182127)

(2) what considerations he has given to the merits of reclassifying bottom ash from incinerators as hazardous waste;

(3) what discussions his Department has held with other EU governments on the classification of bottom ash waste from incinerators.

[holding answer 29 January 2008]: Revisions to the approved supply list (ASL) (version 8) introduced an ecotoxic classification for zinc oxide, one of the substances which is likely to be present in incinerator bottom ash (IBA). Zinc substances now need to be considered, in addition to lead and other ecotoxic heavy metals, when classifying and disposing of this kind of waste.

Since there is the potential for potentially ecotoxic metal substances in incinerator bottom ash (IBA) to exist in non-ecotoxic form, I understand that the waste industry is currently developing a protocol for ecotoxicity testing of IBA.

DEFRA and the Environment Agency both consider that the classification of IBA will remain non-hazardous pending the results of direct testing, which is being carried out as part of this work.

DEFRA has not discussed the classification of IBA with other member states.