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What is a WAC Test?

The Waste Acceptance Criteria (WAC) sets parameters for different types of waste and determines criteria for waste to be accepted to a particular landfill type (in other words, a WAC test tells you which landfill you can send your waste to). A WAC test will essentially analyse the leaching ability of contaminants in the soil to identify how contaminants will act when in landfill. So, after soil waste has undergone basic characterisation to classify it as non-hazardous or hazardous it can then undergo WAC testing.

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When Do I Need To Do a WAC Test?

It is important to remember that a WAC test can only be carried out after waste has been classified as non-hazardous or hazardous. The landfill will require 'Basic Characterisation' of the soil and you have a 'Duty of Care' as the waste producer to carry out this characterisation. To achieve this basic characterisation you must carry out a 'waste classification test' and once this has been done, soil waste can undergo a WAC test. A waste classification test is often done in conjunction with a WAC test to give you all the information you would need to provide the landfill operator. There are also different types of WAC tests and the particular type of WAC test to do will depend on the classification of the soil. Essentially, a waste classification test tells you what the soil is and a WAC test tells you where it can go. you can't find out where it can go without first knowing what it is.

WAC analysis (specifically leaching test results) must not be used for waste classification and hazardous waste assessment purposes. This analysis is only applicable for landfill acceptance and does not give any indication as to whether a waste may be hazardous or non-hazardous. - Waste Management 3 (WM3)

How Do I Know Which WAC Test To Do?

If soil waste is classified as non-hazardous it can go to either non-hazardous or inert landfill. Inert landfill is cheaper than non-hazardous landfill so it may be desirable to try to send it to inert landfill if possible. To be accepted to inert landfill it must undergo an 'inert WAC test' and meet certain criteria on contaminant leaching and other characteristics. If the soil waste fails a inert WAC testing it cannot go to inert landfill and must go to non-hazardous landfill. Alternatively, if waste is classified as hazardous it must then undergo a 'hazardous WAC test' to see if it can accepted to hazardous landfill. If hazardous soil waste fails hazardous WAC testing then it must be treated until it meets the necessary criteria for hazardous landfill.

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What Are The Different Types of Landfill?

Inert - Landfill for inert waste has a geological barrier but no liner and no cap and so the leaching limits for this type of landfill are much lower and the ability for human exposure must also be much lower due to the lack of capping.

Non-hazardous - Landfill for non-hazardous waste requires lining and capping but testing of the leaching values is not required under EU rules so soil waste can be sent to non-hazardous landfill (after classification as non-hazardous) without the need for a WAC test.

Hazardous - Landfill for hazardous waste has the highest lining and capping requirements allowing it to accept wastes with a greater leaching potential. Other pathways to human exposure are not a concern due to the capping layers.

How Do I Get a WAC Test?

We can turnaround waste classification tests and WAC testing within days of sample collection and can carry out WAC tests at the same time as a waste classification test for convenience or we can deliver results of your waste classification test to see if a WAC test would be necessary.

1. Contact us and let us know your requirements
2. Following initial consultation we can provide an outline proposal detailing how we can help and the costs involved
3. Our environmental consultants will first carry out a detailed desk study
4. Soil samples will be collected for analysis in our UKAS accredited laboratory
5. Once samples are tested we will produce a clear, easily understandable and FREE site investigation report and a report detailing the chemical properties of the soil
6. It may be the case that you have already carried out a waste classification test and only need a WAC test and in this case you would need to provide us with the previous lab analysis results and we can carry out the WAC test for you
7. We can turnaround our waste classification tests and WAC tests within days of your initial enquiry allowing you to stick to schedules and minimise any disruption to your project
8. If you're simply looking for more information about our WAC testing or our company then complete the form on our contact page and we will endeavour to respond to your enquiry in a timely manner

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