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More About UK Hazardous Waste Landfills
A UK hazardous waste landfill is similar to a regular landfill, in that both have a liner to the base (usually a combination of HDPE plastic and clay) laid down first, to keep the landfill wastes from leaching into the soil and subsurface water tables. Both will be capped to prevent gas escaping from the top, and water entering – to avoid creating leachate as far as possible.
The difference between hazardous and non-hazardous landfills is substantial from there on though. Hazardous waste landfills in the UK, are either:
- separate “mono-disposal landfills” on their own site, or
- comprise special mono-disposal areas (cells) within a municipal solid waste landfill.
Whichever type they are, only a limited range and volume of hazardous waste types can be disposed into each cell.
A continuing groundwater and surface water monitoring program is put in place at all landfills but is especially important at all UK hazardous waste landfills, to trigger corrective action requirements, should actions be needed.
Landfills intended for hazardous wastes must be licensed for each hazardous waste type which will be disposed at that landfill, and the range of hazardous substances allowed may be quite limited.
If you plan to take hazardous waste to a suitably licensed landfill, be aware that the amount and availability of hazardous waste disposal capacity varies from year to year at individual landfills.
The volume which can be accepted by the landfill operator each year is set by the regulatory authority. If you wish to dispose of a large quantity of hazardous waste, for example from a contaminated land site, it is usual to call in advance, agree a price, and make certain that adequate hazardous waste capacity exists in a landfill.
For all hazardous waste it is advisable to call the site operator first, and to check that the operator will be able to accept your hazardous waste, before setting out with your waste.