CORE PERFORMANCE ELEMENTS FOR THE ENVIRONMENTALLYSOUND MANAGEMENT OF WASTE
Waste management facilities, including recovery facilities, should, within the framework of laws, regulations and administrative practices in the countries in which they operate, and in consideration of applicable international agreements, principles, objectives and standards, take due account of the need to protect the environment, public health and safety, and generally conduct their activities in a manner contributing to the wider goals of sustainable development.
In particular, taking into account the size of the enterprise, especially the situation of SMEs, the type and amount of waste, the nature of the operation and domestic legislation, the following core performance elements would apply to waste management facilities:
1. The Facility should have an Applicable Environmental Management System (EMS) in Place
As an underlying principle of ESM, waste management facilities should have an applicable environmental management system (EMS) in place. A fully developed EMS should be certified by a recognised party and should include:
• Measurable objectives for continual improvements in environmental performance, including periodic review of the continuing relevance of these objectives;
• Regular monitoring and re-examination of progress toward environmental, health and safety objectives;
• Collection and evaluation of adequate and timely environmental, health and safety information regarding facility activities;
• Provisions included in CPEs 2 to 6;
• Applicable ESM technical guidance.
Licensed/authorised/permitted waste management facilities should be subject to periodic inspections and/or audits, normally on an annual basis, by a recognised independent auditor. The auditor shall:
• Verify the conformance of the facility with CPEs 2 to 6, relevant environmental regulations, and, if applicable, current EMS systems, such as the ISO 14 001 Environmental Management or the European Community Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS), or any other equivalent national or sub-national system;
• Assess the performance of the facility regarding environmental, health and safety aspects against measurable objectives.
The facility should make publicly available an annual report describing the firm's EMS system and the achieved environmental, health and safety performance.
Concerning SMEs, the procedures for achieving certification/registration and reporting should be simplified in comparison with large facilities. Because regular audits may create a burden and impose excessive costs on SMEs, their audits should be less complicated and could be carried out less frequently (normally every three years) than those of large facilities, while being consistent with the need to maintain an ESM of waste. Also the environment, health and safety report could be made publicly available every three years.
In addition, there are domestic EMS systems which are specifically tailored to address the needs of SMEs. Whatever EMS system will be selected, it is recommended that the government or large companies have a programme in place to provide support for SMEs in terms of information and know-how sharing.
2. The Facility should take Sufficient Measures to Safeguard Occupational and Environmental Health and Safety
Workers of facilities should not be exposed to unacceptable occupational health and accident risks, related to the content of the materials they are handling, emissions from those materials and the equipment being used. The waste may include hazardous chemicals or toxic metals; they may emit toxic gases or release harmful dust. Workers may have to handle heavy loads, be exposed to vibration and noise of machinery. Also, the risk of fire, explosion, etc. may exist in some cases. Consequently, adequate measures should be taken to avoid unacceptable occupational health and safety risks.
People living and working in the vicinity of a waste management facility should also not be exposed to unacceptable environmental health and accident risks. These risks relate mainly to the emissions, including noise, from the process and transport to and from the facility. Therefore, adequate measures should also be taken to minimise these impacts to human health. Adequate measures may include national as well as international regulations, agreements, principles and standards, whether mandatory or voluntary.
3. The Facility should have an Adequate Monitoring, Recording and Reporting Programme
The facility should have a monitoring and recording programme which covers:
• Relevant legal requirements, including key process parameters;
• Compliance with applicable safety requirements;
• Effluents and emissions; and
• Incoming, stored and outgoing waste, in particular hazardous waste.
All relevant environmental records should be maintained and made available to competent authorities according to national legislation and/or local authorisation/license/permit requirements. Waste management facilities should maintain records on the generation, collection, recovery or disposal of waste, its types and amounts which are to be made available to the competent authorities upon request.
On-site recovery or disposal of waste generated by the process concerned must be carried out in compliance with applicable laws and regulations and should be recorded appropriately. In case of off-site recovery or disposal, outgoing waste should be recorded appropriately and handed over only to environmentally sound recovery and/or disposal operations.
Upon request, and taking into account business confidentiality and the protection of intellectual property rights, reliable information on the activities of the facility that may impact the environment or the health and safety of personnel should be made available to the public in a reliable and timely manner.
4. The Facility should have an Appropriate and Adequate Training Programme for the Personnel
The facility should have training in place for proper identification and handling of any hazardous components in incoming waste. Personnel involved in the management of waste and materials, in particular hazardous waste and materials, should be capable and adequately trained to be able to properly handle the materials, equipment and processes, eliminate risk situations, control releases and carry out safety and emergency procedures.
The facility should define and document the responsibility, authority and interrelations of key personnel who manage, perform and monitor the activities which may have adverse effects on the environment.
Adequate operative training programme for the personnel should be in place and properly documented.
5. The Facility should have an Adequate Emergency Plan
The facility should have a regularly updated plan for monitoring, reporting and responding to accidental or otherwise exceptional pollutant releases, including emergencies such as accidents, fires, explosion, abnormal operating conditions etc. The emergency plan should be based on the evaluation of existing and potential risks. An emergency co-ordinator should be designated to handle hazardous wastes. Large facilities would need a complete contingency plan. The plan should cover both short-term and long-term remedial activities. SMEs whose operation presents little or no risk would need a significantly more limited emergency plan. Any emergency plan should be periodically reviewed by the relevant authority and/or external auditor. Particularly, in case of SMEs the reviewing body could be the local fire fighting agency or corresponding municipal authority. This plan should be regularly tested and revised as appropriate, in particular after the occurrence of accidents or emergency situations.
6. The Facility should have an Adequate Plan for Closure and After-Care
Generally, the facility should have an adequate plan for closure and after-care. The need for closure plans and financial guarantees is determined by applicable laws and regulations, taking into consideration the level of risk. Closure plans should be updated periodically and financial guarantees should ensure that the necessary measures are undertaken upon definite cessation of activities to prevent any environmental damage and return the site of operation to a satisfactory state, as required by the applicable laws and regulations.
Review and Update of the Core Performance Elements for the Environmentally Sound Management of Waste
The core performance elements of the OECD for environmentally sound management (ESM) of waste should be periodically reviewed in order to adapt them to technical development. The OECD's Working Group on Waste Prevention and Recycling (WGWPR) would make proposals for this purpose as needed.