Management of hazardous waste from companies

Verified 30 January 2024 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

The management of hazardous waste is subject to specific obligations to their elimination has the least possible impact on the environment and human health.

Hazardous waste management is complex. It is recommended to ask for advice from your professional organization or your regional directorate for environment, planning and housing (Dreal) in case of doubt.

Definition of hazardous waste

Hazardous waste

Any waste is considered hazardous if it has one or more hazardous properties (indicated by the abbreviation “HP” with a number).

Any waste that does not have any of the properties that make a waste hazardous is considered non-hazardous.

Non-hazardous waste that contains hazardous waste is considered hazardous waste (for example: a jerry can of petrol).


In order to identify with certainty whether your waste is hazardous waste, you need to find their number. A decision by theEuropean Union lists all categories of waste. They are detailed in theindex document.

The hazardous waste is indicated by an asterisk (*), after their 6-digit number.

One European Commission document provides technical recommendations for the classification of waste. It can help you understand how to classify your waste and identify hazardous waste.

Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)

Persistent organic pollutants are a set of substances that degrade slowly, accumulate in living organisms, are toxic and easily transported over long distances.

They are listed in Annex IV to a European regulation, the text of which is regularly updated by Parliament.


Waste containing persistent organic pollutants, hazardous within the meaning of the definition of hazardous waste, are subject to the obligations listed in this fiche.

Liability of the producer or holder of the hazardous waste

A company that proceeds or holds hazardous waste is responsible for its management.

It must ensure that the waste is disposed of (or disposed of by a third party) under conditions that minimize harmful effects on the environment.

Characterization of hazardous waste

A company that manages hazardous waste must characterize and classify.

The characterization of hazardous waste can be based on several elements: observation, knowledge of the processes that led to the production of the waste, bibliography, analyzes, etc.

Hazardous substances and mixtures shall be classified by specific hazard types and hazard categories (level of hazard):

  • Physico-chemical hazard (e.g. flammable liquid)
  • Health hazard (e.g. acute toxicity, carcinogenicity)
  • Environmental hazard (e.g. ozone layer, aquatic environment)


Criteria for classification of hazardous substances and mixtures are available in Annex I to that European Regulation.

Hazardous and substances of very high concern to be identified

You need to identify if your waste contains substances subject to authorization under the European REACH Regulation on chemicals. They are listed on the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) website.

They are considered to be substances of "very high concern".

You also need to identify whether your products contain hazardous substances indicated in the annex to that order.

Packaging and packaging

You must to package or package your hazardous waste. This packaging or wrapping must:

  • Prevent content loss
  • Consists of materials that are not likely to be damaged by the contents
  • Be strong and resistant
  • Be fitted with closing devices
  • In some cases, be fitted with child-resistant fastenings and tactile safety markings


The regulation of packaging and containers is very specific and depends on the hazardous waste in question. All of the obligations that must be met are available in this European regulation.


Content and format of the labeling

You must affix a labeling on packages or containers, which shall indicate in particular:

  • The name, address and telephone number of the supplier(s), including, if you are a supplier, your company
  • Identifiers of hazardous products: at least one name and identification number
  • The nominal quantity of the substance or mixture in the package made available to the general public, unless that quantity is specified elsewhere on the package
  • The hazard pictogram(s) indicating the hazard categories of waste: explosive, flammable, oxidizing, gas under pressure, corrosion, toxic, irritant, dangerous to health, dangerous to the environment
  • A warning ("caution" or "danger")
  • A risk phrase ("fire or projection hazard", "fatal if swallowed", etc.)
  • Relevant safety advice (“Store only in the original container”, “Protect from moisture”, “Keep out of the reach of children”)
  • In certain cases, other mandatory particulars


Labeling obligations are: very specific and depend on the hazardous waste in question. All of the obligations that must be met are available in this European regulation.

Information on substances of very high concern and dangerous substances

You must also indicate the presence of substances of very high concern or danger on your products. This shall apply as soon as one of the substances concerned is present in concentrations higher than 0.1% as a percentage by mass of a substance, mixture or article.

This indication shall be in the form of a statement " Contains substance of very high concern for substances covered by the REACH Regulation.

A statement " Contains hazardous substance ' shall be affixed for the substances indicated in the annex to that order.

This statement shall be entered by marking, labeling, display and by any other method that would appear appropriate to the company.


You must implement this new labeling within 6 months of the addition of a new substance such as “hazardous substance” or “substance of very high concern”,

Who is affected by the hazardous waste reporting?

Your company must declare any hazardous waste it manages. This is particularly the case if your company:

  • Product hazardous waste or waste containing persistent organic pollutants (POP waste)
  • Collection hazardous waste or POP waste, including small quantities
  • Recondition or transform hazardous waste or POP waste
  • Holds hazardous waste or POP waste for which the producer is not known and shall be handed over to a third party

Exemptions from the reporting obligation

Certain wastes are excluded from this obligation. The following cases are not subject to the reporting obligation:

  • You give waste oils to waste oil collectors or waste oil collectors.
  • You have notified a transboundary shipment of waste.
  • Your company is permitted to dispose of hazardous waste in landfills.
  • Your company is permitted to deliver hazardous waste to a container that collects small amounts of hazardous waste.
  • Your company is subject to the obligations of extended producer responsibility schemes.

If you are covered by this exemption, you must keep a follow-up record of such waste.

Hazardous waste reporting via Trackwaste

The state has put in place a online service dedicated to the management of waste tracking slips. It's about Trackwaste.

You must declare your hazardous waste on this gate.

This declaration shall be made via waste tracking slips, in a dematerialized manner, on the platform.

Managing the traceability of waste and asbestos (Trackwaste)

In particular, you will have to declare information about your hazardous waste, namely:

  • The quantity, nature and origin of the waste your company produces, transfers to a third party or takes care of
  • And, where appropriate, the destination, frequency of collection, means of transport and method of treatment or disposal envisaged for such waste

Please note

The following wastes are also subject to mandatory reporting via Trackwaste:

  • Asbestos waste
  • Refrigerant waste
  • Infectious Care Activity Waste (DASRI)
  • Waste end-of-life vehicles

When should you report information about Trackwaste?

You must change your tracking slips hazardous waste in Trackwaste whenever the hazardous waste is :

  • Processed or treated : the processor indicates on the waybill the next destination of the hazardous waste.
  • Received by a new person and that this refuse waste management: the person refusing the waste shall immediately indicate on the list the reason for refusal.
  • Received by a new person and that this accept waste management: the person accepting the waste shall indicate in the list, within one month of receipt, the treatment to which the waste has been subjected. The waybill must be amended again if the waste is treated after this period.


You must inform your mayor, president ofECPI or prefect if your company did not receive updating the waste management voucher one month after their scheduled date of receipt. You must also inform the original shipper of the waste, if it is not your company.

Who shall I contact
Who shall I contact

Penalties provided for

Your company involved in hazardous waste management is at risk a penalty in case of no declaration or incorrect information. Two penalties are provided for:

  • 4 years imprisonment and €150,000 of fine (natural person), or €750,000 of fine (legal persons).
  • The fine for contraventions of 4e class: by amount of €750 (natural person), or €3,750 (legal persons)

These penalties can be cumulative.

General rule

He is ban on mixing hazardous waste :

  • Of a category, with hazardous waste of different categories
  • With non-hazardous waste
  • With substances, materials or products that are not waste

Derogatory procedure for the authorization of mixtures of hazardous wastes

By way of derogation, mixed operations of hazardous waste may be permitted. They may take place only if these mixing operations:

  • Are made in a classified installation for environmental protection subject to authorization or registration
  • Perform according to the best available techniques
  • Are carried out without endangering human health or the environment
  • Do not aggravate adverse effects of such waste on human health or the environment

In order to obtain this derogation, you need to build a case including:

  • A description of the types of waste to be mixed
  • If relevant to your application, a description of the types of substances, materials or products intended to be mixed with the waste
  • A description of the planned mixing operations, specifying whether these are best available techniques
  • The measures envisaged to limit the dangers and disadvantages for: the convenience of the neighborhood, public health, public safety, public health, environmental and landscape protection, economical land use, rational use of energy and the conservation of sites and monuments
  • The procedures put in place to avoid inappropriate mixing (which would not be carried out according to the best available techniques or which would endanger human health, harm the environment or aggravate the harmful effects of the mixed waste)
  • The organizational and operational measures provided for in the event of inappropriate mixing, in particular those aimed at preventing risks to the environment and human health pending the separation of the materials or their transfer to a suitable installation

These elements must be sent to your prefect of department. You will receive a response within 15 days via a draft order. This draft order may impose additional measures on you, mitigate those you have proposed, or ask you to provide details. The prefect may also decide to reject your application.

Who shall I contact

Please note

When a mixture of hazardous waste has been carried out without having been the subject of a derogation, a separation operation shall be carried out if the mixing results in a danger to human health or to the environment. This shall be carried out, if technically possible, in a classified installation for environmental protection subject to authorization or registration.

Record keeping for companies permitted to mix

If your company is permitted to mix hazardous waste, you must maintain a record including:

  • The elements of justification for the implementation of all the measures prescribed by the decree authorizing mixtures
  • The list of waste concerned and its classification according to the nomenclature
  • In the case of chemical substances, the list of substances and their Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Registry
  • If it concerns the activity of your company, the list of materials and products mixed with hazardous waste

Penalty for mixing of unauthorized hazardous waste

Your company involved in hazardous waste management is at risk a penalty in the case of mixing of unauthorized hazardous waste. It's from 4 years imprisonment and €150,000 of fine (natural person), or €750,000 of fine (legal persons).

The following activities are subject to specific obligations :

  • Transport of dangerous goods
  • Transport of hazardous waste
  • Hazardous waste trading and brokering

Failure to meet these obligations exposes you to sanctions.

Find out with your professional organization or prefecture.

Who shall I contact

Some hazardous waste needs to be sorted, transit or grouped. Hazardous waste should generally be treated or incinerated with a view to their disposal. Some waste may be temporarily or permanently stored.

All these operations concerning hazardous waste must be carried out in classified installations for the protection of the environment (PCI). You must comply with the regulations applicable to these installations.

The PCI nomenclature will allow you to identify the type of PCI that can receive your waste for disposal.

Please note

Operators of PCIs subject to authorization receiving hazardous waste shall be subject to the General Pollutant Activity Tax (GPAT).

Who can help me?

Find who can answer your questions in your region