Do I need a WAC test?

by | Dec 13, 2021

A WAC test is also known as a Waste Acceptance Criteria test. Essentially, this is determining whether organic material, usually soil, is suitable to be disposed of in a landfill. A WAC test is absolutely necessary before disposing of material in a landfill to ensure that hazardous materials are going to have the least amount of impact on the environment as possible. This is due to framework set out by the EU, which is still followed in the UK despite our recent split. 

This framework is known as the Landfill Directive and there are very strict standards surrounding materials that are allowed to be buried in landfills. Due to this, landfill operators will not allow waste materials to be buried in a landfill without first carrying out a WAC test. 

What is the process of a WAC test?

Firstly, you must assess the volume of waste material that needs to be removed from a site and sent to a landfill. However, before waste materials can be disposed of in a landfill, they will need to have a report which classifies whether the materials are hazardous or non-hazardous. This is known as a Waste Classification report. A WAC test can not replace this and could result in a misclassification if you try and cut corners. 

There are 2 classifications of waste materials, either being hazardous or non-hazardous. Within the non-hazardous class there are thresholds which determine if the material can be sent to an inert landfill or a non-hazardous landfill. Although it isn’t a regulatory requirement for the non-hazardous materials above the inert threshold to go through a WAC test, some landfill operators may still request one. 

Once classified, a WAC test can now be carried out. This will consist of two main parts; solids and liquids. Whilst the solid material itself may not be hazardous, there may be liquid leachates which drain from the material and are in themselves hazardous. These materials may potentially be treated to send to a safer, inert landfill. Overall, this report will detail what long-term effects the material will have on the landfill and the environment. 

What can be found with a WAC test?

A WAC test can determine the amount of contaminants there are within the soil. This includes elements such as arsenic, fluoride and mercury. It also includes other matter such as asbestos and hydrocarbons. There are many things that count as contaminants and these can all determine the ways in which materials have to be treated and what kind of landfill they can legally be sent to.  

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Whether you are looking for WAC testing or another type of geotechnical investigation, we’d love to hear from you. For more information on the matter, or if you’d like to know more about our services, please get in touch! 

Contact Borehole Solutions today on 01733 200 501. We also offer an extensive range of other geotechnical services, including sonic, rotary and cable percussion drilling, as well as soakaway, water well and ground source heat pump installations! Or take a look at our Instagram page to see images of our previous work.