The WAC covers the minimum testing requirements that need to be met for the disposal of waste to the relevant landfill - inert, non-hazardous and hazardous. If the waste does not comply with the relevant WAC, the landfill should not accept the waste.
Waste Acceptance Criteria testing needs to be undertaken once a waste (including soils) has been characterised as hazardous. WAC testing needs to be done if a non-hazardous waste is considered as potentially inert and there may be an option for it to be disposed of to an inert landfill site. With varying costs associated with landfill disposal, WAC testing has the potential for non-hazardous waste to be shown to comply with the inert WAC criteria and therefore be classed as inert, in which case it could be disposed of at an inert landfill site. Note that WAC testing is not currently required for non-hazardous waste being disposed of to a non-hazardous landfill.
The Waste Acceptance Criteria (WAC) became mandatory in July 2005, meaning all organisations have a duty of care with regards to the disposal of hazardous waste.
There remains a lack of clarity over what is required for WAC. With that in mind, we’ve outlined some key points on adhering to WAC below:
- WAC testing does not characterise waste as hazardous or non-hazardous. Characterisation testing for soils needs to be driven by the desk study and the results processed accordingly
- Non-hazardous waste does not need WAC testing unless disposal to an inert landfill is being considered
- If you have characterised your waste as hazardous then you must test for a hazardous WAC suite (or a ‘Stable Non-Reactive Hazardous’ suite if disposal to ‘Stable Non-Reactive Cell in a Non-Hazardous Landfill’ is being considered)
- If you wish to save time, the WAC testing can be scheduled alongside the testing for characterisation. If you are not considering disposal to an inert landfill, then schedule a ‘Hazardous WAC Suite’
- Check with the landfill site if there are any other criteria that need to be met under the landfill’s permit
- Liquid wastes are banned from landfill and non-hazardous waste must be treated before it can be land-filled
Download our Waste Acceptance Criteria Infographic
Laboratory Sample Requirements
- Full WAC or Inert WAC Suite – a 1 litre plastic tub, a 120ml amber jar, and a 60ml amber jar
- Hazardous or Stable Non-Reactive Hazardous WAC Suite – a 1 litre plastic tub
- Five working day turnaround