WAC Testing Explained

WAC Testing is a waste analysis service that looks at a sample's physical and chemical characteristics to understand how it will behave in a landfill site.

It’s important to note that WAC testing does not classify the type of waste as either non-hazardous or hazardous and it should not be confused with waste soil classification. This must be done prior to WAC testing.

If waste is classified as hazardous, then WAC testing is a supplementary test used to determine whether specific additional pre-treatment of waste is required to meet the landfill permit requirements. For potentially inert non-hazardous waste, WAC testing determines whether the lower waste classification applies. 

The combination of waste soil classification and relevant WAC testing is used to determine the appropriate way to manage and dispose of excess soil intended for disposal to landfill.

You can learn more about what you need to do before sending waste to a landfill site in the current government guidance.

WAC Testing Procedure

Our WAC testing procedure involves testing for various factors, such as acidity levels, heavy metals, and organic matter content. The results are then compared against the standards set by the Waste Acceptance Criteria, which serve as guidelines to ensure the waste is safe for disposal.

Once these tests are completed, a determination will be made as to whether or not the waste meets the criteria set by the WAC. If it does, the waste will be accepted and sent to landfill for proper disposal. Otherwise, the waste must be treated or disposed of in an appropriate manner before being transported to a landfill site.

Why is WAC Testing Important?

The main purpose of WAC testing is to determine the concentration of hazardous materials in any given waste sample so that it can be managed safely and efficiently according to environmental regulations.

This type of testing is essential, as it allows you to meet strict Landfill Regulations and determine which landfill site will accept your waste. By performing accurate testing, we can ensure your business remains compliant with all relevant legislation and regulations while protecting public health and the environment. 

WAC testing is often undertaken before soil is reused or repurposed, for example, when it’s been excavated from a contaminated site and needs to be certified for reuse.

Classifying inert waste items like rocks and soil can help you:

  • Assess the suitability of soils in construction projects
  • Analyse agricultural land before growing crops
  • Evaluate potential sources of groundwater pollution

Is WAC Testing Mandatory?

WAC Testing is mandatory if waste (or soil) is classified as hazardous as part of waste soil classification procedures.

For non-hazardous waste, WAC Testing is not a requirement unless it’s being disposed of at an inert landfill site.

Waste is classified into three categories: inert, hazardous, and non-hazardous:

  • Inert waste (e.g. rocks, sand, and gravel) 
  • Hazardous waste (e.g. asbestos, chemicals, pesticides, chemicals, and oils)
  • Non-hazardous waste (e.g. plastic packaging, paper, and cardboard)

By understanding which type of waste you’re dealing with, you can ensure you meet the Waste Acceptance Criteria for a particular class of landfill, fulfil your Duty of Care, and ensure all waste is disposed of safely and responsibly.

What Can WAC Testing Be Carried Out On?

WAC Testing can be used to test a variety of materials, including:

  • Construction and demolition waste
  • Industrial process residues
  • Wastewater sludges
  • Municipal solid wastes
  • Hazardous waste streams
  • Other source-separated recyclables

WAC testing can also assess the potential for explosive gas accumulation as well as potential leachate production within a landfill. Through a comprehensive analysis of these factors, it’s possible to ensure that any material introduced into a landfill will not adversely affect its operation, the health of those living nearby or the surrounding environment.

Benefits of WAC Testing

  • Identify potential hazards
  • Ensure compliance
  • Reduce liability risk

Frequently Asked Questions

What is tested in a WAC test?

In a Waste Acceptance Criteria (WAC) test, the leaching potential of contaminants from a waste material is evaluated to determine if it meets regulatory standards for safe disposal.

Who carries out WAC testing?

Waste Acceptance Criteria (WAC) testing is typically carried out by environmental laboratories or testing facilities accredited to perform such assessments, such as Simtec Materials Testing Ltd.

How long do WAC tests take?

The duration of Waste Acceptance Criteria (WAC) tests can vary but generally takes several weeks, depending on the specific requirements, sample type, and processing times.

How many WAC tests do I need?

The number of Waste Acceptance Criteria (WAC) tests needed depends on regulatory requirements, the type of waste, and the specific characteristics being assessed.