Waste requires appropriate storage and robust disposal, recycling, and recovery options, as poor practices can result in potential risks to human health and the environment. The classification of whether a waste is hazardous or non-hazardous requires the skills and knowledge of an experienced professional who understands the behaviour and toxicity of chemicals. In order to carry out this classification, an evaluation of the results of chemical testing, based on an understanding of the analytical methods used and the information provided is carried out to assess the potential hazardous properties.
Careful and robust classification of waste material is important given the strict controls on the storage, treatment, and disposal of hazardous waste, in addition to the higher costs associated in comparison with other waste types. The EU Waste Framework Directive (WFD) sets out what waste is and how it should be managed. Within the directive, the List of Wastes (LoW) provides more detail on the types of wastes. The assessment and classification of hazardous waste is derived from Annex III of the Waste Framework Directive.
During 2015, there were several significant legislative changes that affect the classification of waste, including amendments to the List of Wastes; criteria for persistent organic pollutants; major revision of hazardous properties in the WFD; and the adoption of the Classification, Labelling and Packaging Regulation (CLP) for chemicals. To take account of these changes, the Environment Agency and other agencies have revised technical guidance in the UK, which is presented in WM3, Guidance on the classification and assessment of waste (1st edition 2015).
Waste producers need to classify wastes so you can describe it. The classification:
- must be worked out before the waste is moved, disposed of, or recovered;
- must be included on waste documents and records;
- determines the controls that apply to the movement of the waste; and
- is needed to identify a suitably authorised waste management option.
Waste Acceptance Criteria
Waste acceptance criteria (WAC) became mandatory in 2005 following the introduction of the Landfill Regulations. Landfills are classified according to whether they can accept hazardous, non-hazardous, or inert wastes. Wastes can only be accepted at a landfill if they meet the waste acceptance criteria (WAC) for that class of landfill.
The WAC testing includes solids and leachate testing to assess which class of landfill the waste can be accepted at.
Currently, there are only acceptance criteria for inert, stable-non-reactive hazardous and hazardous landfills. This means that WAC testing is only required for wastes destined for Inert, SNRH and Hazardous landfills. If the waste does not comply with the relevant WAC, the landfill should not accept the waste at their facility.
AVRIO have a team of scientists with extensive experience in the waste classification process. We can help characterise the composition of material and determine the concentration of hazardous substances if present. Our staff are trained in the use of HazWasteOnlineTM software which follows the latest guidance and European legislation, providing us with a reliable and accurate classification of potentially hazardous waste materials such as soils, sludges, residues, liquids, and waste products.