Testing Of Imported Fill & Waste Acceptance Criteria Testing


Testing Of Imported Fill & Waste Acceptance Criteria Testing

Testing & Recommendations On Material That Needs To Be Removed Or Imported To Your Site

It’s quite unusual when developing a site, whether redeveloping and old one (Brownfield) or a new one (Greenfield) not to need to make the site, or at the very least, part of it, level.  Levelling a site can involve one or sometimes both of the following, removal of existing material or importing new material.

Any material to be removed from site must be done in accordance with both The Duty of Care Act: 2014 and the Waste (England and Wales) Regulations: 2011; (the Waste (Scotland) Regulation: 2012 in Scotland).  In simple terms, the former is there to ensure that the producer of any waste is responsible for it until it reaches its end point, usually a landfill.  The second piece of legislation is why we have to use the European Waste Catalogue (EWC) Codes, where every type of waste is given a distinct code, and there are a lot!

However, that’s only part of the process.

Applying a very simple description, there are three types of landfill that can accept waste.  Inert, Non-Hazardous and Hazardous.  So, not only must the waste be classified, but the receiving landfill also has to know what they are receiving to make sure they can accept that particular waste; after all, an Inert landfill cannot accept Hazardous Waste.  Equally, from the developer’s perspective, getting it right is very important because the difference in cost of landfilling inert waste and hazardous waste is considerable.

Inert waste has a set of maximum acceptable chemical concentrations (or equivalent) within the material by which it is measured against.  If any one of these concentrations is exceeded the material is automatically classed as Non-Hazardous and cannot be accepted in an Inert Landfill.   Likewise, the Non-Hazardous landfill also has an upper limit that is acceptable within that classification of landfill.  As you would expect, there is no upper limit for Hazardous waste.

We determine the nature of a waste into one of the three types by undertaking what is known as a Waste Acceptance Criteria (WAC) test.  This is quite a complicated test that looks into what is known as the leachability of a contaminant; leachability is the ability of, in this case, a contaminant, to dissolve into water, and thus have a bigger impact on the local environmental setting of the landfill.

One misconception regarding WAC testing is that a WAC test can be used in isolation, it can’t.  A WAC test must be carried out in conjunction with a more traditional chemical analysis for metals and organic contaminants.

Although there is no upper limit to contamination concentrations in terms of Hazardous waste there is a requirement to classify its hazardous properties.  There are a total of 15 hazardous properties and one or more can be allocated to a waste, e.g., HP7 is the code for a carcinogenic waste.

Fortunately, material being brought onto site isn’t anywhere nearly as complicated.  The important aspect of any material brought onto site is that it shouldn’t contaminant a site by its arrival.  To this end, because there is minimal formal guidance from central government on testing imported material, here at GES we have adopted the testing guidance as set out by YAHPAC (Yorkshire and Humberside Pollution Advisory Council) for our testing protocols when checking the suitability of any imported material throughout the whole of the UK.

For more information on testing imported material please see our page on Phase IV Validation.

GeoEnviro Solutions Ltd can offer testing on material that needs to be removed or imported to your site and can recommend to you the best option based on results returned.


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