Set up your hazardous waste recycling plant and start earning huge profits responsibly.

The objective of environmentally sound recycling of hazardous waste (HW) is to achieve optimal recovery of resources from such waste with no or minimal adverse effects on human health & environment. The implement this effectively, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) has framed HW Management Rules. These rules clearly describe the roles and responsibilities of a recycler for environmentally sound recycling of HW, including paint sludge, Zinc, spent catalysts, e-waste, tyres, lead and used/waste oils. Hazardous waste recycling promotes the recovery of precious metals and other materials after re-processing and helps in reducing pollution.

Hazardous Waste Recycling - Overview

Hazardous waste (HW) is more dangerous as it directly affects the environment and human health. A study evaluated that around 74.6 lakh tonnes of hazardous waste are produced in India annually. Of this, around 34.1 lakh tonnes, or 46% of the total waste, can be disposed in landfills. Moreover, recyclable hazardous waste includes 33.5 lakh tonnes or 45% of the total. Since the amount of recyclable HW is significant, India developed strict rules concerning effectively managing such waste. These rules promote hazardous waste recycling by clearly stating the norms and roles of a recycler.

Hazardous waste recycling is one of the essential components of sustainable development. The process of used oil, ferrous and non-ferrous metal waste recycling, etc., is, associated directly with resource conservation. Moreover, recycling HW lowers the burden on treatment, storage and disposal facilities (TSDFs). It also leads to a significant reduction of carbon footprint in most cases.

Notably, there is a significant potential for setting up a hazardous waste recycling plant in India. Read on to know the complete details -

Hazardous and Other Wastes (Management and Transboundary Movement) (HOWM) Rules, 2016 and amendments made thereof

These rules apply to managing hazardous and other wastes as mentioned in the Schedules to these rules.

However, these rules do not apply to -

(a) wastes produced due to operation from ships more than five kilometres of the relevant baseline as included under the norms of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958 (44 of 1958) and the norms made thereunder and as amended gradually;

(b) waste-water and exhaust gases as included under the norms of the Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 (6 of 1974) & the Air (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 & the norms made thereunder and as amended gradually;

(c) radio-active wastes as included under the norms of the Atomic Energy Act, 1962 (33 of 1962) and the guidelines made thereunder and as amended gradually;

(d) wastes included under the Municipal Solid Wastes (Management and Handling) Rules, 2000, made under the Act and as amended gradually; and

(e) bio-medical wastes are included under the Bio-Medical Wastes (Management & Handling) Rules, 1998, made under the Act & as amended gradually.


Hazardous waste is any waste which, because of features like chemical, physical, biological, toxic, reactive, flammable, explosive or corrosive, causes or is likely to cause danger to the environment or health, whether alone or in contact with other substances or wastes. This waste must include the following -

  • (i) waste mentioned in column (3) of Schedule I;
  • (ii) waste having equal to or more than the concentration limits mentioned for the constituents in class A and B of Schedule II or any of the characteristics as mentioned in class C of Schedule II; and
  • (iii) wastes mentioned in Part A of Schedule III concerning the import or export of such wastes or those not mentioned in Part A but exhibiting hazardous characteristics mentioned in Part C of Schedule III.

Other wastes are mentioned in Part B and D of Schedule III for import or export and include indigenously produced wastes that may be notified gradually. (Hazardous and Other Wastes (Management and Transboundary Movement) Second Amendment Rules, 2021.

Recycling is the processing and reclamation of hazardous or other wastes in an environmentally sound manner for the originally intended purpose or other purposes;

An authorisation authorisation is permission for recycling, producing, handling, reception, collection, treatment, transport, storage, reuse, recovery, pre-processing, utilisation including co-processing and disposal of HW issued under sub-rule (2) of rule 6;

An actual user is an occupier who processes and procures hazardous and other waste for recycling, reuse, recovery, pre-processing, utilisation, including co-processing;

Environmentally sound management of HOWs (hazardous and other wastes ) is following all steps needed to guarantee that the HOWs are managed in a way that must safeguard human health & the environment against the adverse effects which may develop from such waste;

A facility is any establishment wherein the processes incidental to the recycling, generation, handling, collection, treatment, reception, storage, reuse, recovery, pre-processing, utilisation, co-processing and disposal of hazardous and other wastes are performed;

Reuse means the use of HOW for its original or other use;

Pre-processing implies the treatment of waste to make it suitable for recycling or co-processing or for any further processing;

Responsibilities of the occupier for hazardous and other wastes management

(1) For hazardous and other wastes management, an occupier must follow the following steps, namely:-

  • (a) recycling;
  • (b) prevention;
  • (c) minimisation;
  • (d) reuse;
  • (e) safe disposal;
  • (f) recovery, utilisation, including co-processing.

(2) The occupier is responsible for the environmentally sound and safe management of hazardous and other wastes.

Grant of authorisation for hazardous and other wastes management

(1) Every occupier of the facility involved in metal waste recycling and other hazardous waste processing must apply in Form 1 to the State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) and obtain a SPCB hazardous waste authorisation within sixty days from the publication date of these rules. Such application for authorisation must be attached with a copy of each of the following documents, namely:-

(a) consent to establish (CTE) issued by the SPCB;

(b) Consent to operate (CTO) issued by the SPCB;

(c) in case of authorisation renewal, a self-certified compliance report with regards to the effluent, emission standards and the norms mentioned in the authorisation for HOWs: Given that an application for authorisation renewal must be made three months before the expiry of such authorisation:

(i) Any person authorised under the norms of the HWM Rules, 2008, before the date of commencement of these rules, must not need to apply for authorisation till the expiry of such authorisation;

(ii) any person involved in recycling hazardous waste mentioned in Schedule IV and having registration under the norms of the HWM Rules, 2008, must not apply for authorisation until the expiry of such registration.

(d) Emergency Response Plan (ERP)

(e) Nature and quantity of different wastes received per annum from domestic sources or imported or both:

(f) Installed capacity as per registration issued by the District Industries Centre or any other authorised government agency

(g) Process description

(h) Details of pollution control systems such as Effluent Treatment Plants, scrubbers, etc., including mode of waste disposal

(i) Details of occupational health and safety measures

(2) Upon receiving the complete application for the authorisation, the SPCB can, after such inquiry as it deems compulsory, and on being satisfied that the applicant has appropriate facilities for recycling, collection, storage, transportation, packaging, treatment, processing, use, destruction, recovery, pre-processing, co-processing, offering for sale, utilisation, transfer or disposal of the hazardous and other waste, as the case may be, and after verifying technical capabilities and equipment adhering to the standard operating procedure (SOPs) or other guidelines mentioned by the CPCB gradually and via site inspection, issue within four months, an authorisation in Form 2 to the applicant, which is valid for five years subject to such conditions as may be framed therein. For commonly recyclable hazardous waste, as mentioned in Schedule IV, the regulations as already laid by the CPCB must be followed:

Given that in the case of an application for authorisation renewal, the SPCB can, before issuing such authorisation, satisfy itself that there has been no violation of the norms mentioned in the authorisation granted by it previously, and the same must be recorded in the inspection report.

(3) The authorisation issued by the SPCB under sub-rule (2) must be attached with a copy of the field inspection report signed by that Board mentioning the adequacy of facilities for recycling, collection, storage, transportation, packaging, treatment, processing, use, destruction, pre-processing, recovery, co-processing, utilisation, offering for transfer, sale, or disposal of the hazardous and other wastes and compliance to the guidelines or SOPs mentioned by the CPCB gradually.

(4) The SPCB can, for the reasons to be recorded in writing and, after allowing the reasonable chance of being heard to the applicant, refuse to grant any authorisation under these rules.

(5) under these rules, every authorised occupier must maintain a record of hazardous and other wastes (HOWs) managed by him in Form 3. The occupier must prepare and submit to the SPCB an annual return having the details mentioned in Form 4 latest by the 30th day of June of the next financial year to which that return belongs.

(6) The SPCB must maintain a register having particulars of the norms imposed under these rules for hazardous and other wastes management, and it must be open for inspection during office hours to any affected or interested person.

(7) The actual authorised user of hazardous and other wastes must maintain records of HOWs bought in a passbook issued by the SPCB along with the authorisation.

(8) Handing the HOWs to the authorised user must be done only after making the entry into the passbook of the actual user.

Power to suspend or cancel an authorisation

(1) The SPCB can, if, in its opinion, the authorisation holder fails to adhere to any of the conditions of the authorisation or with any norms of the Act or these rules and after giving him a reasonable opportunity of being heard and after recording reasons suspend or cancel the authorisation granted under rule 6 for as long as it considers necessary in the public interest.

(2) Upon authorisation suspension or cancellation, the SPCB can direct the person whose authorisation has been cancelled or suspended for the safe storage and hazardous and other wastes management, and such occupier must comply with such instructions.

Storage of hazardous and other wastes

(1) The occupiers can store the hazardous and other wastes for up to ninety days. They must maintain a record of recycling, sale, transfer, storage, recovery, co-processing, pre-processing and utilisation of such wastes. Moreover, they must make these records available for inspection:

Given that the SPCB can extend the said period of ninety days in the following cases, namely:-

  • (i) actual users and disposal facility operators up to one hundred and eighty days of their annual capacity;
  • (ii) small generators (up to ten tonnes per annum) up to one hundred and eighty days of their annual capacity;
  • (iii) occupiers with no access to any TSDF in the concerned state; or
  • (iv) the waste which needs to be stored explicitly for the development of a process for its recycling, pre-processing, recovery, co-processing or utilisation; and

    (v) in any other case, on justifiable grounds up to one hundred and eighty days.

Strategy for hazardous and other wastes

import and export

Importing hazardous and other wastes from any nation is allowed only for recycling, reuse, recovery and utilisation, including co-processing.

Transportation of hazardous and other wastes

(1) The hazardous or other wastes imported to India are deemed illegal if-

  • In transporting hazardous and other waste for recycling or utilisation, including co-processing, the sender must inform both the SPCBs before handing over the waste to the transporter.
  • In case of transit of hazardous and other waste for recycling, utilisation including disposal or co-processing via a state other than the states of origin and destination, the sender must give prior intimation to the concerned SPCB of the states of transit before handing over the wastes to the transporter.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • 1. What is included in commonly recyclable hazardous waste as mentioned in Schedule IV of the Hazardous Waste Management Rules, 2016?






    Brass Dross


    Copper Dross


    Copper Oxide mill scale


    Copper reverts, cake and residue


    Waste Copper & copper alloys in dispersible form


    Slags from copper processing for further processing or refining


    Insulated Copper Wire Scrap or copper with PVC sheathing, including ISRI-code material, namely "Druid."


    Jelly-filled copper cables


    Spent cleared metal catalyst containing copper


    Spent catalyst containing nickel, cadmium, Zinc, copper, arsenic, vanadium and cobalt


    Zinc Dross-Hot Dip Galvanizers SLAB


    Zinc Dross-Bottom Dross


    Zinc ash/Skimmings arising from galvanising and die-casting operations.


    Zinc ash/Skimming/other zinc-bearing wastes arising from smelting and refining


    Zinc ash and residues, including zinc alloy residues, in dispersible from


    Spent cleared metal catalyst containing Zinc


    Used Lead acid battery, including grid plates and other lead scrap/ashes/residues not covered under Batteries (Management and Handling) Rules, 2001. [Battery scrap, namely: Lead battery plates covered by ISRI, Code word "Rails" Battery lugs covered by ISRI, Code word "Rakes".


    Components of waste electrical & electronic assemble comprising accumulators and other batteries included in Part A of Schedule III, mercury switches, activated glass cullets from cathode-ray tubes and other activated glass and PCB-capacitors, or any other component contaminated with Schedule II constituents (e.g. cadmium, mercury, lead, polychlorinated biphenyl) to the extent that they exhibit hazard characteristics indicated in part C of Schedule III.


    Paint and ink Sludge/residues


    Used oil and waste oil

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