Hazardous Wastes (Management and Handling) Rules, 1989

Hazardous waste is a complicated issue since it endangers both the environment and human health. Hazardous Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 1989 were published by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF & CC), formerly known as the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF), in accordance with the provisions of the Environment Protection Act, 1986. The Hazardous Waste (Management, Handling and Transboundary Movement) Rules, 2008, which supersede previous notifications, were finalized in 2008 after being updated in the years 2000, 2003, and 1989. The Rules provide matching obligations for various authorities.

What is the meaning of Waste?

"Waste" refers to resources that are not products or by-products and have no further use for manufacturing, transformation, or consumption by the generator. The word "waste" refers to materials that may be produced during the extraction of raw materials, the processing of those materials into intermediate and final products, the consumption of those goods, and other human activities, but does not include residuals that are recycled or reused at the site of creation. A byproduct is a substance that is not meant to be generated but is created during the manufacturing process of the intended product and used as such.

What is the meaning of Hazardous Waste?

The fundamental goal of a hazardous waste definition is to assist stakeholders in determining whether waste is dangerous or potentially harmful. According to the Hazardous and Other Wastes (Management and Transboundary Movement) Rules, 2016, "hazardous waste" is defined as any waste that, due to characteristics such as physical, chemical, biological, reactive, poisonous, combustible, explosive, or corrosive, causes or is likely to cause risk to health or the environment, whether alone or in interaction with other waste or substances.

Object of the Rules

The Rules aim is to regulate the production, collection, processing, treatment, importation, storage, and management of hazardous waste.

Scope and Applicability of the Rule

The regulations for managing hazardous and other wastes as listed in the schedules to these rules are also applicable across all of India and are governed by this Act. The rules are not applicable in the following circumstances −

Provisions under the Rule

The rule consists of 21 sections and 8 schedules. The important provisions are −

Section 1 Short Title and Commencement
Section 2Application
Section 3Definitions
Section 4Responsibility of the Occupier and Operator of a facility for handling of the wastes
Section 5Grant of authorization for handling hazardous wastes.
Section 6Power to suspend or cancel an authorization.
Section 7Packaging, labelling and transport of hazardous wastes.
Section 8Disposal sites
Section 9Records and returns
Section 10Accident reporting and follow-up
Section 11Import and export of hazardous wastes for dumping and disposal
Section 12Import and export of hazardous wastes for recycling and reuse
Section 13Import of hazardous waste.
Section 14Export of hazardous waste.
Section 15Illegal traffic.
Section 16Liability of the occupier, transporter and operator of a facility.
Section 17Transitional provisions
Section 18Appeal.
Section 19Procedure for registration and renewal of registration of recyclers and re-refiners.
Section 20Responsibility of waste generator.
Section 21Technology and standards for re-refining or recycling.


In addition to this, there are 8 schedules.

The given table illustrates the major points of these schedules −

Schedule 1List of processes generating hazardous wastes.
Schedule 2List of waste constituents with concentration limits.
Schedule 3List of Hazardous Wastes applicable for import and export.
Schedule 4List of the commonly recyclable wastes.
Schedule 5Specification of used oil suitable for recycling and specification of fuel derived from waste oil.
Schedule 6List of Hazardous and other wastes prohibited for import.
Schedule 7List of authorities and corresponding duties.
Schedule 8List of documents for verification by customized for import of certain wastes.

How to Identify Hazardous Waste under the Rule?

Hazardous wastes represent current or potential threats to human health or living creatures because they are −

  • Non-biodegradable or persistent in nature;

  • Can be biologically amplified; and

  • Are very poisonous and even fatal at very low quantities.

A substance must also fulfill the requirements given in the regulation definition of solid waste in order to be categorized as a hazardous waste.

For the identification of Hazardous Waste it must determine if a waste is dangerous, we can use one or both of the following criteria −

  • The list of substances that government organizations have designated as harmful.

  • Features of the compound, such as ignitability, corrosivity, reactivity, and toxicity

Characteristics of Hazardous Wastes under the Rules

According to the laws, wastes with quantifiable characteristics that pose significant dangers for management are considered characteristic hazardous wastes. When a waste is improperly handled, stored, transported, disposed of, or otherwise mismanaged, it must cause, or significantly contribute to, an increase in mortality, a serious irreversible or incapacitating reversible illness, or pose a substantial risk or threat of a risk to human health or the environment. The four dangerous traits listed below are −

  • Ignitability − If a waste easily catches fire and burns strongly enough to pose a risk, it qualifies as an ignitable hazardous waste.

  • Corrosivity − A liquid waste is deemed to be corrosive hazardous waste if its pH is more than or equal to 12.5 and less than 2, respectively.

  • Reactivity − A substance is deemed a reactive hazardous waste if it is unstable, interacts violently with water, emits poisonous fumes when in contact with water or corrosive substances, or is capable of igniting or exploding when exposed to heat or a flame.

  • Toxicity − Wastes that are likely to release harmful amounts of toxic substances into ground water are identified as toxic hazardous wastes by this feature.


Waste that poses serious or prospective risks to the environment or public health is referred to as hazardous waste. Dangerous products include hazardous trash. The following hazardous characteristics are typically present in them: ignitability, reactivity, corrosivity, and toxicity. Listed hazardous wastes are substances that are expressly identified by regulatory authorities as hazardous wastes and come from a variety of sources, including chemical goods that have been abandoned or specified sources.


Q1. Is it illegal to import solid waste into India?

Ans. Yes, imports of solid plastic garbage into the nation are restricted, even in Special Economic Zones (SEZ) and by Export Oriented Units (EOU).

Q2. Is adequate hazardous waste management sufficiently beneficial?

Ans. Yes, it is advantageous to have effective management of hazardous waste. Scientific disposal of hazardous waste through collection, storage, packing, transportation, and treatment, in a manner that is ecologically sound, minimizes the negative impact on human health and the environment.

Q3. What are hazardous wastes in India?

Ans. The Hazardous waste, Municipal Solid waste, biomedical waste, Plastic waste, E-waste, Construction & Demolition waste are the hazardous wastes in India.

Updated on: 21-Feb-2023

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