Hazardous waste

The "Hazardous waste" fact sheet measures the amount of hazardous waste produced and collected in mainland Portugal, as well as the proportion to be sent to a recovery operation or to a disposal operation. This fact sheet also measures the relative quantity of hazardous waste sent to the different recovery and disposal operations.

Hazardous waste (HW) is all the waste that presents at least one of the hazard characteristics listed in EU Regulations 1357/2014 and 2017/997, namely, explosiveness, oxidising properties, flammability, ecotoxicity, mutagenicity, toxicity, among others.

The production of hazardous waste occurs mainly in the industrial sector, but also in the health sector, in agriculture, in retail, in services and even in the household sector. The hazardousness associated with these wastes, for both human health and the environment, requires more careful attention to their management in order to avoid/reduce the occurrence of harmful effects.

On a preventive basis, it is important to limit the production of waste, reducing the operations necessary for its management, which themselves originate environmental impacts, both in terms of collection and transport, and in the treatment itself.

According to the waste hierarchy, disposal operations should be avoided whenever the alternatives are economically and environmentally viable. Disposal operations should be considered end-of-the-line operations, as they do not promote circular economy, and generally entail greater environmental impacts. Given the current waste production and management patterns in Portugal, the waste policy should consider reducing the amount of disposed waste as a goal to be achieved.

This fact sheet concerns mainland Portugal and shall be updated on an annual basis.



Objectives and targets: 
  • Prevent the production of waste, hazardous waste in particular, which implies reducing it at the source, thus reducing the quantity to be subjected to treatment;
  • Reduce the hazardousness of waste;
  • Reduce the amount of disposed waste.
Progress analysis:
Last update: 
Monday, 23 August, 2021