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Do I Need a Soil Test for Removing Construction Waste?

If you're removing soil waste produced by business activities (e.g. a groundworks construction company excavating earth for foundations of a building) you will need to determine whether the soil you are removing is hazardous or not as this will determine how the waste will be disposed of. A waste classification test will be required to measure the levels of potentially toxic heavy metals and hydrocarbons and to classify the waste for disposal.

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Why Do I Need Soil Testing for Construction Waste Disposal?

Laws regarding proper disposal of construction waste have become far more stringent and more strictly enforced in recent years, resulting in the need for companies to conduct soil tests before removing construction waste. Authorities such as the Environment Agency have the right to fine you for failure to comply with waste management regulations. Common issues surrounding removal of construction waste, and reasons for needing soil testing, include:

• Producers describing the waste they create incorrectly, in order to pay a lower rate of tax
• The Environment Agency is currently clamping down on deliberate misdescription of waste, whereby hazardous waste is described as non-hazardous, or waste misclassified as non-waste
• Government review has called for increased fines for companies mislabelling waste
• To avoid unintentional mislabelling of waste, soil tests for removing construction waste will need to be carried out
• Failure to test waste to properly classify it may be treated as criminal negligence and punished as such.

Who is Responsible for Doing a Soil Test? - Government legislation states that it is the legal responsibility of the waste producer to ensure a soil test is done for removing construction waste. It is considered part of your 'Duty of Care'. However, this is not always a simple process and the correct knowledge and credentials are essential in order to make sure you comply with the relevant regulations and avoid potential penalties. Luckily you don't have to carry out these soil tests yourself as we can work on your behalf to ensure the proper and legal disposal of your construction waste and save you time and money on your construction project.

What Soil Testing Do I Need for Removing Construction Waste?

Waste Classification Testing for Construction Waste - In order to accurately assess contamination levels of construction waste prior to waste disposal, we're able to collect samples from site or provide a soil testing kit, conduct soil waste classification and/ or WAC testing, in a UKAS accredited laboratory, all within 3-4 working days. We can then liaise with waste disposal companies to remove the soil with the knowledge that you have done your due diligence and fully complied with environmental regulations.

WAC Testing for Construction Waste - It may also be necessary to carry out WAC testing after the waste soil has been classified. Waste Acceptance Criteria (WAC) testing is done to determine which landfill class to send construction waste to. If construction waste is initially classified as non-hazardous waste but is also potentially inert you may wish to carry out WAC testing to confirm (inert landfill is generally cheaper than non-hazardous). When construction waste is found to be hazardous, a hazardous WAC test can be carried out to see whether it meets hazardous WAC criteria, if it doesn't then it must undergo treatment before it can be sent to landfill.

Example Construction Waste Disposal Project - We recently carried out sample collection and detailed laboratory analysis on a site in Nottingham for a local steel building construction company, as they required a professional soil testing service to dispose of construction waste. Following a site visit to collect suitable and representative soil samples, we were able to conduct laboratory testing and produce a detailed soil testing report, all within 5 days of the client's initial enquiry, this allowed them to stick to their tight project schedule.

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