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What is a Soil Waste Classification Test?

Soil waste classification testing is an essential part of the waste disposal process, as it allows for the accurate classification of waste soil (hazardous or non-hazardous) and ensures appropriate management of waste. If a site is believed to be potentially contaminated, a soil waste classification test will be required prior to disposal of soil waste from site. Soil waste classification testing may save you money by reducing disposal costs, if waste can be classified as non-hazardous, and avoiding potential penalties for wrongly disposing of soil waste.

When Waste Classification Testing is Required - In order to allow for soil waste to be disposed of, e.g. to landfill, waste carriers and landfill operators will require detailed chemical analysis and an accurate classification (hazardous or non-hazardous) of the waste. Soil waste classification testing will allow waste carriers and landfill operators to appropriately manage, treat or dispose of waste, and is most commonly associated with the disposal of waste soil produced as part of construction or development projects.

Waste Classification & Landfill Tax - If waste can be classified as non-hazardous, through soil waste classification testing, you may save a significant amount of money on your disposal costs. For example, hazardous waste sent to landfill incurs a considerably more expensive landfill tax than non-hazardous or inert waste. In addition to this, the Environment Agency has the authority to prosecute for the false classification of waste, so it's important that your soil waste is accurately classified and appropriately disposed of.

For continuous streams of soil waste from a process occurring over time, such as a manufacturing works, it may be necessary to carry out classification testing of soil waste on a weekly, monthly or quarterly basis to ensure that the waste continues to be appropriately disposed of.

What Does Soil Waste Classification Testing Include?

Soil waste classification for landfill disposal will involve analysing soil for a range of contaminants, including heavy metals and hydrocarbons. Heavy metals, such as cadmium, lead and zinc, are known to have significant human and environmental health impacts. Most heavy metals are classified as human carcinogens and are also known to bio-accumulate in organisms. They are highly persistent in soils and can, therefore, accumulate to high concentrations and be detrimental to environmental health. Their extensive use in various industries has lead to widespread environmental pollution, this is why testing for heavy metals in soil is an important part of a soil waste classification test.

Hydrocarbon contamination can occur either by accidental releases or through contaminating activities. For example, fuel emissions or spillages can lead to petroleum hydrocarbon contamination and the burning organic products, such as wood and crop residues, can contaminate soils with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons that are highly persistent. Hydrocarbons are harmful to human health through the release of vapours and can also cause negative environmental impacts if they contaminate soils and waters.

A soil waste classification test will analyse these contaminants and assess them against multiple waste regulations allowing us to determine whether soil waste is classified as hazardous or non-hazardous.

The Soil Waste Classification Test Process

Soil Waste Sampling & Testing - If you intend to dispose of soil waste from a potentially contaminated site, we are able to collect samples from your site, carry out a waste classification test in a UKAS accredited laboratory and prepare a waste classification report, within days of sample collection. We can then liaise with waste disposal companies to remove the waste soil from your site, ensuring you're fully compliant with environmental and waste disposal regulations.

We are also able to carry out continuous soil waste classification testing for streams of soil waste regularly produced over time, to ensure accurate classification and taxation of soil waste going to landfill.

WAC Testing - It may also be necessary to carry out WAC testing after the waste has been classified as hazardous or non-hazardous. Waste Acceptance Criteria (WAC) testing is carried out to determine which landfill class soil waste can be sent to. If waste is identified as non-hazardous, through waste classification testing, it may be desirable to carry out WAC testing in order to confirm the soil waste meets inert landfill criteria, as inert landfill disposal is generally cheaper than non-hazardous. When soil waste, e.g. from excavations from construction or development at a site, is found to be hazardous, a WAC test can be conducted to confirm it meets hazardous landfill criteria. If the soil waste does not pass hazardous WAC testing then it must undergo treatment before it can be sent to landfill.

Meet Our Waste Management Consultants

Consultants - Supervised by our Chief Technical Officer, Louis Turner, our fully comprehensive soil waste classification testing, is carried out by highly qualified consultants, combining over 30 years experience in construction waste management with recognised in-depth technical qualifications in identification of contaminated waste and environmental issues.

Management - Our wealth of experience in project management, logistics and waste management consulting allows us to provide an efficient, friendly and high quality soil waste classification service for our clients. As a company, we believe that helping clients achieve their goals while simultaneously protecting the environment is a true "win-win" situation.

Partners - Our experienced, professional and qualified construction and consulting partners further extend the range of environmental and waste management services we're able to provide. Our partners provide our clients with services such as hazardous soil disposal, remediation implementation and excavation and groundwork services.

Contact Us - Contact us and let us know your waste management requirements. We offer a quick and convenient soil waste classification testing service, fully tailored to your specific needs. If your requirements are more complex, or you're looking for more information about our soil waste classification testing or our company, a more formal consultation may be necessary. Following initial consultation we can provide an outline proposal detailing how we can help and the costs involved.

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