Waste handling obligation

All undertakings come into contact with waste, whether as waste producers, holders, or handlers.

Liability of producer

Producers are obligated to gather the waste produced by their products and handle it in accordance with the requirements. The liability of producer is implemented in the collection and further handling of the waste produced by products of concern, such as electrical and electronic equipment and their components, power-driven vehicles and their components, tyres, batteries and accumulators, and agricultural plastic. In general, the user must have the opportunity to give away the waste free of charge.

The producers of the products of concern are obligated to register themselves in the register of products of concern and submit data about the waste produced by their products.

Packaging and packaging waste

Undertakings who launch packaged products on the Estonian market are obligated to ensure the collection and handling of packaging waste in accordance with the requirements.

Many obligations can be transferred with a written contract to a recovery organisation with a respective activity licence engaged in handling packaging.

Handling waste

Waste holders are obligated to handle the waste in their possession in accordance with the requirements or to hand them over to a person with the respective right for waste handling.

Undertakings engaged in handling waste must have a waste permit or an integrated environmental permit.

If a company offers the service of handling hazardous waste, it must also have a hazardous waste handling licence in addition to a waste permit and an integrated environmental permit.

A hazardous waste handling licence is an activity licence that proves the respective competency of a person and the suitability of technology. The licence gives the right to handle, in economic and professional activity, the waste produced and handed over by other persons. The handling of waste is guided by the principle of minimising the environmental impact of waste handling. If it is not possible to avoid the production of waste, it should be recovered if possible. The methods for recovering waste include preparation for recovery (improvement, cleaning, etc.), recycling as material, and other type of recovery, such as energy production and backfilling. Taking the waste to a landfill is a last resort solution.


Related authorities

Last amended: 14-09-2016 14:43 | Compiled by: Ministry of the Environment