Coding systems

Different coding systems are used throughout the Waste Data pages for classifying waste types, business types and waste management methods.  Further information on these coding systems is available by clicking on the links below or by scrolling down the page.

European Waste Catalogue List of Waste (EWC 2002)

The EWC 2002 is a harmonised, non-exhaustive list of waste types established by the European Commission (2000/532/EC).  The list categorises wastes based on a combination of what they are, and the process or activity that produces them.

The list is divided into 20 chapters, most of which are industry-based, although some are based on materials and processes. Each chapter is represented by a two-digit code between 01 and 20 and comprises one or more subchapters. Individual waste types are detailed in the subchapters and are assigned a six-digit code that comprises two digits for the chapter, two for the subchapter and two specific to the waste type.

Hazardous wastes are signified by entries where the EWC code is marked by an asterisk (*).

The use of EWC 2002 codes to describe waste on waste transfer notes in Scotland has been statutory since April 2004.  The majority of statutory waste data returns received by SEPA, including licensed/permitted site returns, exempt activity returns and special waste consignment notes require waste to be classified according to the EWC 2002.

The full EWC 2002 list and further information is available here:

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European Waste Catalogue for Statistics (EWC-STAT)

The EWC-Stat is a (mainly) substance-oriented statistical classification of waste established by the European Commission (2004/574/EC).  The EWC-STAT contains 13 categories, each represented by a two-digit code between 01 and 13.  These are subdivided into individual waste types.

A table of equivalence allows wastes coded in the EWC 2002 to be converted into the EWC-Stat.  However, because of the way the coding system operates, it is not possible to do the reverse conversion.

SEPA uses the EWC-STAT classification for reporting waste statistics to the European Union and in the Strategic Waste Management Review.

The table of equivalence and further information is available here:

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NACE is the statistical classification of economic activities within the European Community.  In this system, each industry sector is assigned a unique five or six digit code; for example, DA.15.83 is the Manufacture of sugar.

SEPA uses NACE to classify businesses by type when carrying out surveys. NACE Rev 1.1 (Regulation 29/2002) was used for the 2004 and 2006 business waste surveys. 

The NACE system was revised in January 2008 (Regulation 1893/2006) and the latest version is known as NACE Rev. 2.

Links to both versions and further information are available here:

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UK Standard Industrial Classification (UK SIC)

The United Kingdom Standard Industrial Classification of economic activities (UK SIC) is used to classify business establishments and other standard units by the type of economic activity in which they are engaged. The UK SIC is equivalent to NACE to the four digit level.

Industry and employment statistics produced by the Scottish Government use the UK SIC (2003) classification and these are reported in SEPAs Strategic Waste Management Review.

In parallel with NACE, the UK SIC was revised in January 2008.  Links to both versions and further information are available here:

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Recovery and disposal (R&D) codes

Waste related activities are classed as recovery (R) or disposal (D), as defined in the Waste Framework Directive (2006/12/EC). The legislation can be found here:

R and D codes are used for reporting data on the recovery and disposal of waste to the European Union under the Waste Statistics Regulations.

The R and D codes are available here:

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