Waste Acceptance Criteria (W.A.C) & Testing

Waste Acceptance Criteria (WAC)

We are here to help you get your project completed within budget and on time by avoiding costly delays or compliance issues down the road.

Any soil removed from site is a waste and the waste producer has a Duty of Care to ensure that the waste is characterised. The receiving landfill operator must also be satisfied that a Basic Characterisation, is properly completed before the waste is accepted.


Firstly, it’s a legal requirement. These tests are to determine the appropriate category of landfill for wastes, including soils.


You can wait until you are ready to start the groundwork. Alternatively, you may wish to remain in control of your costs, in which case the answer is as soon as possible.

Waste Acceptance Criteria (W.A.C) and W.A.C Testing

If you were to take say three WAC tests and one falls within the hazardous landfill category you run the risk of having to pay the higher rate for all the waste. If you plan your testing early it may be possible to define the area of the site where soils fall into the higher rate, hazardous landfill designation. You will then save money by paying a lower rate for soils from the remainder of the site.

What they are Not

WAC testing will not determine if a site is or is not ‘contaminated land’.

WAC testing does not categorise the soil as hazardous or non-hazardous.


WAC testing is part of a drive to reduce the use of landfill and to ensure the risk of environmental harm from landfills is minimised.

It is a statutory requirement in accordance with the Landfill Regulations (2005) and Waste Framework Directive (WFD) (2008/98/EC), that a waste is characterised and also meets specific Waste Acceptance Criteria (WAC) prior to disposal in a landfill. The waste producer has a Duty of Care to ensure that the waste is characterised and the landfill operator must also be satisfied that a Basic Characterisation, is completed before the waste is accepted.

The Environment Agency’s technical guidance ‘Waste Classification (WM3, 1st edition 2015)’ which came into force on 1st July 2015, sets out the requirement for the classification. It also provides the basis for the methodology to employ in order to ensure compliance with the regulations.

Waste Acceptance Criteria (W.A.C) and W.A.C Testing

The classification assesses the composition of the material and determines the concentrations of the hazardous substances. The assessment of contaminated soil to determine whether it is hazardous waste is dependent on the presence of “hazardous substances” exceeding set levels.

Basic Waste Characterisation Testing (Air Dried Testing)

If soil from construction and remediation works are intended for disposal there is a requirement to determine if these classify as hazardous or non-hazardous. These tests will determine the levels of a range of contaminants within the soil.

Waste Acceptance Criteria Testing

Landfills are classified according to whether they are permitted to accept hazardous, non-hazardous, or inert wastes. Wastes can only be accepted at a landfill if they meet the relevant waste acceptance criteria (WAC).

There are acceptance criteria for inert, stable-non-reactive hazardous and hazardous landfills.

If material is classified as non-hazardous it may be sent to an inert landfill subject to meeting inert waste acceptance levels. Where the material is classified as hazardous, WAC analysis will be required to demonstrate that it meets the acceptance levels for either a hazardous landfill or a stable non-reactive hazardous landfill.

Waste Acceptance Criteria (W.A.C) and W.A.C Testing

WAC testing can be scheduled alongside the testing for characterization.

Check with the landfill site if there are any other criteria that need to be met under their permit.

Why Choose GO Contaminated Land Solutions?

At GO Contaminated Land Solutions, our team of experienced professionals is committed to helping you stay ahead of the ever-changing regulatory requirements associated with construction projects. We are able to respond quickly. We provide comprehensive WAC testing services so you can have peace of mind that your project is in full compliance with industry standards.

We are Here to Help

Call 020 8291 1354 or email with your requirements we are ready to help you achieve a cost-effective solution for your site.

We are able to provide Waste Classification Reporting.

Waste Acceptance Criteria (W.A.C) and W.A.C Testing

We can also provide advice for Waste Management Plans and the adoption of the CLAIRE Definition of Waste: Development Industry Code of Practice.

Please contact us to discuss your sampling and testing requirements.

Need Waste Acceptance Criteria (W.A.C) & Testing