Basic Waste Characterisation Testing

Basic Waste Characterisation Testing

For waste materials that are proposed to be disposed at landfill there is a requirement to determine whether the materials are Hazardous Waste or Non-Hazardous Waste.

In order to determine whether a soil is hazardous or non-hazardous the dry solids chemical testing is required. The suite of testing should be based upon the previous use of the site and is normally driven by a desk study report (for excavated soils from construction sites) or product data sheets (for other waste materials).

Once the dry solids laboratory test results are available these are assessed to determine whether the soil has any hazardous properties (in accordance with a number of landfill directives, Environment Agency guidance documents and European regulations). Nicholls Colton utilise a hazardous waste software programme to perform this step (alternatively a significant amount of time can be spent number crunching !!).

The software classifies the soils as either hazardous or non-hazardous and provides a 6 figure European Waste Catalogue Classification (EWC) code that is required by the receiving facility.
The Basic Characterisation must also be representative of each individual load sent to the disposal site. The waste producer should develop a sampling plan using Best Practice with reference to BS EN 14899 (and supporting technical guidance CEN/TR 15310) to ensure samples are representative of the waste.