Contaminated Land Guidance

AGS Guidance on Waste Classification for Soils – A Practitioners Guide

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Published 13th February 2019

It is apparent that the classification of waste soils (as either hazardous or non-hazardous) is not always completed in accordance with relevant legislation and UK Guidance.  This may be because the process is not widely understood, because it is overly complex for the non-chemist, or because it is impractical in contaminated land applications where waste assessment and disposal often occurs over very short timescales.  It is still common practice for comparison with landfill waste acceptance criteria to be used (incorrectly) as a substitute for waste classification.

The aim of this Guide is to provide a simplified process for the sampling and classification of waste soils on straightforward sites.  It will be up to you, as a waste practitioner, to decide if this Guide applies to your site or whether a more complex approach is required.  The Guide points towards further information and guidance for dealing with these more complex situations.  You may need the advice of a specialist or chemist.