According to the General Law for Prevention and Integral Management of Waste, special waste is any production-generated residual material that is not considered municipal solid waste or hazardous waste or comes from large municipal solid waste generators. The law also defines the different types of special waste. Another consultation tool is the Official Mexican Standard NOM-161-SEMARNAT-2011, which establishes the criteria for classifying special waste, determining which are subject to a management plan, listing wastes, including or excluding special waste from lists, and developing management plans.
As reported by the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources in its 2012 Basic Diagnosis on Waste Management, 84 million metric tons of 14 types of special waste are generated in Mexico each year. Additionally, 805 thousand vehicles are disposed of every year and these numbers are still on the rise.