Categories of waste

- production or consumption residues;

- off-specification products;

- products whose date for appropriate use has expired;

- materials spilled, lost or having undergone other mishap, including any materials, equipment or other objects contaminated as a result of the mishap;

- materials contaminated or soiled as a result of planned actions, e.g. residues from cleaning operations, packing materials, containers;

- unusable accessories, e.g. reject batteries, exhausted catalysts;

- substances which no longer perform satisfactorily, e.g. contaminated acids, solvents and exhausted tempering salts;

- residues of industrial processes, e.g. slags, still bottoms;

- residues from pollution abatement processes, e.g. scrubber sludges, baghouse dusts, spent filters;

- machining and finishing residues, e.g. lathe turnings, mill scales;

- residues from raw materials extraction and processing, e.g. mining residues, oil field slops;

- adulterated materials, e.g. oils contaminated with PCBs;

- all materials, substances or products whose use is prohibited;

- products for which the holder has no further use, e.g. agricultural, household, office, commercial and shop discards;

- contaminated materials, substances or products resulting from remedial action with respect to land;

- any materials, substances or products which are not contained in the above categories.

Hazardous waste – waste which due to the hazardous properties may cause a hazard to health, property or the environment. Wastes are defined hazardous according to Regulation of the Government of the Republic No 263 of 24 November 1998, Approval of the Lists of Waste Categories, Waste Types and Hazardous Waste. The list is based on the European Waste Catalogue (EWC).

Waste – any movable property or registered ship belonging to any of the waste categories which the holder discards, intends or is required to discard.

Waste generation – waste generated in enterprise during the report period due to production or other activity including waste collected from others.

Waste management – collection, delivery, recovery and disposal of waste.

Waste permit – a right granted to a person handling waste or waste producer to carry out one or several of the waste handling operations specified in Waste Act or generate waste in the areas of activity specified in § 75 of Waste Act (RT I 2004, 9, 52). Waste permit also determines the requirements for exercising the right. Waste permits are granted by the Environmental Board.

A waste permit is required for:

- disposal of waste;

- waste recovery;

- collection or transport of hazardous waste;

- collection or transport of metal waste produced or transferred by other persons, except collection or transport of metal packagings of beverages taxable on the basis of the Packaging Excise Duty Act (RT I 1997, 5/6, 31; 1999, 54, 583; 2000, 59, 381; 2001, 88, 531; 2003, 88, 591), for the purposes of further commercial distribution or recovery;

- waste transport organized by a local government;

- transport of municipal waste if carried out as a business or professional activity.

Waste permit is required for waste generation in the event of operation in the following areas of activity:

- production of electricity, heat, fuel or coke;

- refining of liquid or gaseous fuel, or pyrolysis of solid fuel;

- production or processing of metals;

- processing of mineral materials;

- chemical industry;

- pulp, paper or textile industry, or tanning of skins or hides;

- food industry;

- animal husbandry;

- surface treatment or finishing by using organic solvents;

- production of plywood or fiberboard;

- production of graphite (hard-burnt coal) or electrographite by way of incineration or graphitization;

- mining or enrichment of mineral resources;

- timber industry;

- storage of hazardous chemicals, including fuel.


Data are collected from enterprises having waste permit and enterprises dealing with waste collection and waste treatment.

Data are received from the Estonian Environment Information Centre.

Waste generation by economic activities in enterprises not having waste permit was estimated in Statistics Estonia based on the waste factors worked out using the economic data of enterprises.


Names of waste categories correspond to Regulation (EC) No 2150/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 November 2002 on waste statistics, Annex III “WASTE STATISTICAL NOMENCLATURE”.

Estonian Classification of Economic Activities (EMTAK 2003)

EMTAK is available on the web site of Statistics Estonia under the heading “Metadata”.


Eda Grüner

Economic and Environmental Statistics Department

Tel +372 625 9307

Updated: 22.01.2014