Dilution is no solution

What is dilution?

Dilution is the mixing of a waste with one (or more) other materials or wastes with the aim of lowering the concentration of one (or more) components present in the waste without chemical transformation, in order to allow the diluted waste to be sent to a treatment or recycling method which is not allowed for the non-diluted waste. Dilution is illegal under the Waste Framework Directive.

In contradiction to dilution “decontamination” means any operation consisting of removing or treating the unwanted hazardous components or pollutants from a waste in a way that the pollutants are destroyed or irreversibly transformed. 

Why do hazardous waste streams have to be treated differently?

Manufacturers and consumers need to feel confident about the materials in their entire life cycle. It is therefore essential that hazardous components and contaminants or toxic substances are removed from the material life cycles to preserve value in the materials and to protect human health and the environment. To avoid toxicity or ecotoxicity with or without (bio) accumulation, a special treatment of hazardous waste in specialised plants is crucial.

Why dilution of hazardous waste is no solution?

The only clear way to avoid the above-mentioned effects of toxicity or accumulation is the effective transformation or destruction of the hazardous components that defined a hazardous waste. The best way to ensure this is the use of a technology – for example high temperature hazardous waste incineration - which is able to destroy all undiluted hazardous components and contaminants completely. Additionally, a direct and separate acceptance of the non-pre-treated and undiluted hazardous waste should be obligatory and guarantees the highest level of transparency. By comparison the mixing and dilution of hazardous waste never fulfils the above-mentioned conditions. Dilution is no solution!