Analytical Testing Laboratory for Waste Acceptance Criteria

The new regulations pertaining to the dumping of waste in landfill Waste Acceptance Criteria (WAC) came into force in England and Wales in July 2005. The WAC legislation enforces greater control over the nature of the waste disposed of in landfills.

Several useful documents can be found on the Environment agency website including:

In mandating the chemical analysis of all waste destined for landfill by the producers, the WAC regulations will make producers more aware of the type of waste which they produce and help minimise the environmental pollution which is inevitable with this form of disposal.

SAL has invested heavily in a new custom built facility dedicated to chemical testing required by the Waste Acceptance Criteria (WAC testing). This new laboratory has the equipment and capacity to ensure that analytical results for Waste Acceptance Criteria are delivered in a timely fashion.

SAL have developed an certificate of analysis specifically aimed at Waste Acceptance Criteria testing, the format of these WAC reports means that the results you require are presented in a clear, concise manner. The results for tests (Analytes) governed by the WAC regulations are presented alongside the current regulatory limit to allow easy interpretation.

SAL has a team of highly skilled and experienced analysts working on WAC samples to ensure your results are accurate and arrive on time.

Part 2 of Schedule 1 of the Landfill (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2004 ( Statutory Instrument No. 1375 ), as amended in 2005 (Statutory Instrument No.1640), sets out the methodology for gathering all relevant information for the safe disposal of waste at a landfill: the Waste Acceptance Procedures (WAP). The WAP contain three levels of assessment:

  • Basic characterisation: a determination of short and long term leaching behaviour and/or characteristic properties of the waste
  • Compliance testing: periodic spot tests using simple methods to ensure the waste is still as described by the basic characterisation
  • On site verification: to confirm that the waste is as described in the accompanying characterisation documents

The producer of the waste is responsible for the basic characterisation whereas the landfill operator is responsible for compliance testing and on-site verification. A full list of requirements for basic characterisation (which form the basis of the (WAC suite of analysis at SAL) can be found in the Environment Agency’s summary guidance.

The Waste Acceptance Criteria are set out in Part 3 of the Landfill (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2004 ( Statutory Instrument No. 1375) as amended by the Landfill (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2005 (Statutory Instrument No.1640). Wastes can only be accepted at a landfill if they meet the relevant Waste Acceptance Criteria (WAC) for that type of landfill. The new WAC came into force in July 2005.

The waste acceptance criteria (limits) depend upon the classification of the waste, The three classifications are:

  • Inert waste
  • Non-hazardous waste
  • Hazardous waste

The criteria for each classification define acceptable wastes which do not have to be tested, Leaching limit values of the contaminants for which Analytical testing must be performed and limits for other parameters.

The WAC also details special provisions (with related criteria) for the disposal of certain wastes under specific conditions. The provisions cover:

  • Stable non-reactive hazardous waste and non-hazardous waste deposited in the same cell with such waste
  • Gypsum based waste and other wastes with a high sulphate content
  • Asbestos waste.

Finally, the Landfill (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2004 provide specific criteria for underground storage of waste, i.e. in “deep geological cavities such as salt or potassium mines”, as defined in the Landfill Directive.

For more information about SAL’s WAC services, please contact your local laboratory or contact us online.