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Waste Manager

The duties and tasks of the waste manager are regulated in the Recycling Management Act.

What Is a Waste Manager?

A waste manager or waste manager specialist advises a company or operator of a plant and its employees in important matters for recycling management and waste disposal.

For the most important legal principles, the representative can be guided by the Closed Substance Cycle Waste Management Act and the Waste Management Representative Ordinance. These also regulate his or her appointment, tasks, duties and personal requirements.

The waste manager is one of several “company officers” (e.g. data protection officers, fire protection officers) who must be appointed for various companies and purposes in Germany and other Europe states. Through the institution of the company representative, the legislator has created an institutional self-monitoring system in addition to the official external monitoring.

Who Needs a Waste Management Specialist?

Not all companies need a waste manager. When such an employee must be appointed is regulated in Germany in § 59 Closed Substance Cycle Waste Management Act and the Waste Management Representative Ordinance.

According to § 1.1., operators of the following stationary plants need a waste manager(s):

  • for the storage or dumping of waste
  • for the incineration of waste from hospitals
  • for the storage or treatment of car wrecks with a company site of more than 4,000 m²
  • with a total throughput capacity exceeding 0,75 tonnes per hour for the incineration or thermal
  • decomposition (gasification, degassing) of waste or for composting waste
  • for the chemical or physical treatment of waste with a total throughput capacity exceeding 0,50 tonnes per hour

Companies are operating plants according to § 1.2 AbfBeauftrV, which produce hazardous waste (e.g. organic acids, alkalis, salts, refrigerants, etc.), must also appoint a representative(s).

The competent authority may also appoint a waste manager using a corresponding order following § 59 (59) Closed Substance Cycle Waste Management Act.

What Are the Duties of a Company Waste Manager?

The tasks of a waste manager concern the entire waste management in the company.

1. Monitoring waste management

One of the main tasks is to monitor a company’s waste management system that complies with the law. To this end, the entire path of the waste, from its generation or delivery to its recycling or disposal, is monitored.

2. Ensure compliance with laws and regulations

The task of the waste manager is to ensure that all legal regulations are implemented in the company. In addition to the Closed Substance Cycle Waste Management Act, these include other regulations and laws related to waste, such as the Commercial Waste Ordinance and the Packaging Act. The waste manager makes sure that the resulting legal regulations are observed.

3. Further develop operational waste management

The waste manager must continuously inform about new, environmentally friendly and low-waste procedures to improve waste management in the company. This also includes promoting the reduction, recycling and environmentally friendly disposal of waste.

4. Training employees

The waste manager informs employees about the adverse effects that can be caused by the company’s waste and/or waste management activities, which could harm both the environment and people. Also, the waste manager takes concrete measures to prevent such impairments. Furthermore, he trains the employees on the subject of waste and recyclable materials.

5. Contribute to optimization

In companies with operational facilities that produce, recycle or dispose of waste, work should be done continuously to improve processes. The waste manager should participate in concrete optimization measures in order to contribute his expertise.

6. Report

The Closed Substance Cycle Waste Management Act stipulates that a waste manager specialist must submit an annual report to the management on the company’s waste disposal situation and measures taken and intended.

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