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Inert Waste Disposal

Inert Waste Disposal UK

While the definition of inert waste is clear within the UK waste regulations, and substantial volumes of inert waste are now recycled due to the cost of disposal, much inert waste remains which is disposed to regulated inert waste landfills, or used for farm access track improvement etc., rather being recycled to provide a resource for industry.

Inert Waste Directory

These site operators provide inert waste disposal in the UK and are licensed to accept inert soils, clays, excavation materials and inert construction and demolition wastes.

Our objective is:

  1. to assist in providing Waste Disposers with safe and efficient facilities at which to dispose of their wastes;
  2. and, to thereby help restore these sites to sustainable after-uses.

All inert landfill sites are regulated by local planning authorities (eg County Councils) and the Environment Agency (EA).

Is my waste inert?

In principle, the EA guidance defines “inert waste” as material having insignificant leachability and pollution content which will not require laboratory analysis. (A problem arises from “other materials”, and this is explained here. For a more comprehensive definition of inert waste, click here.)

For further information we suggest that as a starting point you visit the “Summary of Landfill Directive Waste Acceptance Procedures”, on the United Kingdom Parliament web site.

The United Kingdom Parliament web site also contains a table of inert materials, which we have duplicated here for convenience. (This list may change periodically – the user shall ensure that he checks that the information below is current and valid.)


EWC Code



10 11 03

Waste glass based fibrous materials

Only without organic binders

15 01 07

Glass packaging

17 01 01


Selected C&D waste only

17 01 02


Selected C&D waste only

17 01 03

Tiles and ceramics

Selected C&D waste only

17 01 07

Mixtures of concrete, bricks, tiles and ceramics

Selected C&D waste only

17 02 02


17 05 04

Soil and stones*

Excluding topsoil, peat; excluding soil and stones from contaminated sites

19 12 05


20 01 02


Separately collected glass only

20 02 02

Soil and stones*

Only from garden and parks waste; excluding top soil, peat

* For the purposes of waste acceptance soil includes naturally occurring sands and clays.
C&D waste – Construction and Demolition waste.

Wastes listed in Table 1 are assumed to meet the definition of inert waste and can be admitted without testing at a landfill for inert waste. Wastes that are not listed must be tested to confirm that they comply with the limit values proposed in the Commission Decision Document.

We can help you define and carry out leachability trials. To contact us by email click here.

Comments on wastes which may be “inert waste” include:

  • selected demolition waste – although the preferred option is to re-use and recycle this material;
  • construction waste  – may be inert if suitably source selected/segregated. Recycling and reuse is preferred, but the small quantities generated by many building sites often makes this uneconomic;
  • uncontaminated soils and subsoils – not normally classified as a waste if reused;
  • highways carriageway waste (scrapings etc) is not listed in Table 1, as it is usually classified as hazardous unless subject to leaching tests as heavy trafficking results in contamination from tyre and oil residues etc.