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.
From this point onwards, the waste ceases to be waste and there is no longer any reason for it to be subject to the controls and other measures required by the Directive.
The Environment Agency considers waste to remain waste until fully recovered. This view also applies to waste used as aggregate/construction material in civil engineering applications.
Full recovery can be obtained when such waste is incorporated into a road or building OR, for inert waste, after processing IF such a process is conducted following the criteria specified in the relevant Quality Protocol, which provides the processors with a uniform control process from which they can reasonably state and demonstrate the recovery of their product. Further information on Quality in producing aggregates from waste can be found in the Quality Module.
Until the point of recovery, the transport, treatment, management and use of such materials needs to be undertaken in accordance with the relevant regulations. It is also a requirement that materials recovered from waste should not cause any harm to the environment or to human health.
It is the responsibility of the holder of the substance
or object to determine, on a case by case basis, whether it is waste
Waste, rubbish, trash, garbage, or junk is unwanted or undesired material. "Waste" is the general term; though the other terms are used loosely as synonyms, they have more specific meanings: rubbish or trash are mixed household waste and including paper and packaging; food waste or garbage (North America) is kitchen and table waste; and junk or scrap is metallic or industrial material. There are other categories of waste as well: sewage, ash, manure, and plant materials from garden operations, including grass cuttings, fallen leaves, and pruned branches.
Though the cleanliness of public streets has long been a public responsibility, it was only towards the end of the 19th century that waste collection and disposal began to be considered part of the public health and sanitation function of municipalities.
Some components of waste can be recycled once recovered from the waste stream, e.g. plastic bottles, metals, glass or paper. The biodegradable component of wastes (e.g. paper & food waste) can be composted or an aerobically digested to produce soil improvers and renewable fuels. If it is not dealt with in a sustainable manner, biodegradable waste can thus contribute to greenhouse gas emissions and by implication climate change.
There are two main definitions of waste. One view comes from the individual or organization producing the material, the second is the view of government, and is set out in different acts of waste legislation. The two have to combine to ensure the safe and legal disposal of the waste.