02 Aug, 2023

At Analytical Construction Services (ACS), we pride ourselves on providing a high-quality service to our clients. We have experience in an array of sectors within the construction industry including WAC (Waste Acceptance Criteria) Testing.

We offer an efficient and reliable WAC testing service using various test leaching procedures as specified by the Environment Agency.

Before sending some types of waste to a landfill, it is imperative that WAC testing is undertaken. In fact, the Landfill Directive 2020 states that we must know everything about waste before sending it to a landfill. 

What Is WAC Testing?

Waste Acceptance Criteria Testing, often abbreviated as WAC Testing, establishes guidelines for various waste categories and defines the standards for waste to be approved for a specific landfill. This helps to identify which landfill you can send your waste to.

WAC testing analyses the leaching ability of contaminants in the soil to establish how they will act in landfill. After the soil has been classified as hazardous or non-hazardous, it can then undergo WAC testing. 

It's crucial to understand that WAC testing analysis is not suitable for waste categorisation or evaluating hazardous waste. This is solely relevant for landfill approval. It doesn't provide any clues about the hazardous nature of the waste.

What Are the Different Waste Classifications?

A landfill requires what is known as ‘Basic Characterisation’. You have a duty of care as a waste producer to carry out this characterisation.

You must carry out a waste classification test prior to WAC testing of soil waste. Waste classification can, however, be carried out in conjunction with a WAC test to give you all the information you need to provide to a landfill operator. 

A waste classification test provides information as to what is in the soil and whether it is hazardous or non-hazardous. WAC testing confirms where the waste can go, i.e. what landfill can accept your waste. You will be unable to find out which landfill will be suitable without first knowing what is in the soil. 

What Can WAC Tests Be Carried Out On?

WAC testing can be carried out on a variety of waste materials, including:

  • Municipal Solid Waste 
  • Industrial Waste 
  • Construction and Demolition Waste 
  • Hazardous Waste 
  • Contaminated Soil and Sediments 
  • Wastewater Sludge 
  • Ash and Residues 

The parameters of WAC testing may vary depending on the specific waste classification and regulations set by the Environment Agency and other bodies.

Is WAC Testing Mandatory?

WAC testing is mandatory in the following circumstances:

Hazardous - If the material has been classified as hazardous then WAC testing will be required to demonstrate that it meets acceptable levels for hazardous landfill or stable, non-reactive, hazardous landfill. 

Non-Hazardous - Material which has been classified as non-hazardous does not require WAC testing unless disposal at an inert landfill is being considered.  

What Are the Benefits of WAC Testing?

There are numerous benefits, including the following:

  • Compliance With Regulatory Requirements 

It’s important to ensure that you are complying with regulations and guidelines set by the Environment Agency to protect public health and minimise environmental harm.

  • Establishing Proper Waste Classification 

To enable waste to be properly managed and disposed of.

  • Identification Of Potential Risks 

Helps to identify the leachate composition which is vital for determining the appropriate course of action and disposal methods applicable to reduce environmental and health risks.

  • Protection Of The Environment And Public Health 

Ensures that waste is managed appropriately to minimise the risk of harm from potential hazards.

  • Responsible Waste Management 

Promotes responsible waste management and enables waste management facilities to make informed decisions about waste acceptance.

Contamination & WAC Testing UK

At ACS, we are a leading provider of environmental testing services. We fully understand the impact of contamination and the importance of WAC testing in waste management and environmental protection. 

We can undertake comprehensive WAC testing on various waste materials to ensure that you are compliant with UK regulations.

Our analysis of leachate samples can detect contaminants which can pose risks to public health and the environment. Using our reliable and accurate testing we can establish the classification, disposal, and treatment of waste to assist in responsible waste management practices and supporting sustainable development in the UK.

Our team of experts are ready and waiting to discuss our range of testing services for any new project, simply contact us to find out more.