Waste Classification of Soils - Why it's Important for your Reputation & Budget?

Posted in Advice, by bubble

So why is the waste classification of soil important?

The Waste Framework Directive (2009/98/EC) enforces a legal requirement to classify waste soils for disposal, and those who do not act in accordance with the guidance, run the potential risk of being prosecuted. Did you know that it is also the legal responsibility of the waste producer to correctly classify the waste? The importance of accurate waste classification is often overlooked in the construction industry and the misclassification of waste is common practice not only by producers, but also by the waste carriers & receivers.

NOTE: Caution, The Environment Agency have recognized this as a serious issue facing the construction industry and are committed to taking stronger enforcement action.

How do I accurately classify waste soil?

Firstly, make sure you carry out the appropriate form of testing. WAC testing can’t be used to classify waste soil, It’s only required in exceptional circumstances if the waste soil is destined for landfill (which you should try to avoid). Basically, it will determine the type of landfill that will accept the material once it is classified as Non-Hazardous or Hazardous.

Waste classification testing should be carried out in accordance with WM3 (EA Guidance Document for Waste Classification & correct testing procedures).

Background knowledge of the site is important to understand what contaminants to test, above the standard range of testing always consider asbestos, which is prevalent on industrial brownfield sites.

Finally, use a Qualified Waste Professional to develop a segregation strategy and ensure the number of samples taken are representative of the volume of waste you are looking to remove.

NOTE: The more samples tests taken the better the data and ability to segregate contaminated soils. The cost of sample testing is low in comparison to contaminated soil removal.

What are the benefits?

Whilst ensuring your Duty of Care and legal compliance, a comprehensive soil testing strategy together with accurate waste classification reporting will help identify contaminated hotspots and assist with the segregation of material arising from these areas. Accurate segregation will reduce costs by minimising the volume of contaminated soil that is removed from site, which is significantly more expensive to dispose of than uncontaminated material.

By correctly identifying and segregating the waste soil, it will reduce and control the risk of cross contamination, resulting in reduced waste disposal costs and increased diversion from landfill sites.

NOTE: Accurate Soil Testing & Waste Classification Reporting will improve both your legal & environmental credentials as well as you bank balance.

Call Ecofficiency’s Team of Qualified Waste Assessors to answer all your soil testing and Waste Classification Reporting queries on 0800 030 5051 or e: technical@ecofficiency.co.uk.

Free phone today on
0800 030 5051.