Landfill as a means of waste disposal needs to be more tightly controlled to minimise adverse effects to both the environment, and to human health. One of the ways in which the Environment Agencies Landfill Directive aims to do this is by putting stricter limits on the nature of waste that can be disposed of by landfill. In order to do this, the Waste Acceptance Criteria for Landfill Disposal have been introduced. This should, by forcing those responsible for waste disposal to have a greater awareness of the nature of their waste, aid in the reduction of the volume of hazardous waste being sent to landfill.
These recent changes in legislation have led to the requirement for those responsible for waste clearance to have their waste tested for suitability for disposal in landfill sites. There are three classifications of landfill, for which different analysis is required. These classes are hazardous waste, stable non-reactive hazardous waste and inert waste. Each of these classes has a different suite of analytical parameters and limits that must be met. For information on the analytical requirements for each classification download this pdf document.
Despite the differences between the classes, they all require the waste to undergo a two part leaching procedure for calculation of the cumulative release of a number of inorganic parameters at a liquid solid ratio of 10:1. This leaching procedure is outlined in the BS EN 12457 standard which details not only the two part leaching procedure mentioned, but also additional procedures that can be adopted for different scenarios.
In addition to the leaching procedure carried out for all classes, each class requires a number of different parameters to be carried out on the solid waste. These are very dependent on the class being considered and for the inert waste classification includes, for example, PCB Congeners, PAH, TPH and BTEX compounds.