Muck Shifting in Northumberland

Inert Waste Removal – more commonly known as muck shifting in Northumberland


So what actually is Inert Waste?

Inert waste is waste which is neither chemically nor biologically reactive and will not decompose, dissolve or burn. The total leachability and pollutant content of the waste and the eco-toxicity of the leachate must be insignificant, and in particular, not endanger the quality of surface water or groundwater.

How do you know if muck you are shifting is inert waste?

In our normal operating circumstances this means any clay or subsoil from a greenfield site is normally okay.

If the site has had any previous use (brownfield site) then it is necessary to have a WAC test done; this involves taking a representative sample and having it tested by a specialist firm. We normally use Derwentside Environmental Testing Services.

This takes about a week and we get a comprehensive report on all the elements and the quantities of the elements found in the sample.

These results can be compared with the Environment Agency tables of conditions for the proposed landfill site

Where is inert waste taken?

Waste taken to most landfill and recycling centres requires a WAC test to have been taken and results to be inside certain parameters before it can be accepted.

All other waste produced from a building site for example is usually stored in separate skips and must be taken to a specialist recycling centre for sorting and disposal.

“Ert Waste!”  (Contaminated Waste)

The contaminated waste we normally get involved with is usually from a brownfield site where a WAC test has revealed higher than acceptable level of contaminant. An example would be where there is evidence of a fuel spillage having occurred.

All this contaminated soil / subsoil would have to taken to a specialist landfill at a high tipping cost per tonne. The nearest ones to us that accept this material are either Dunbar or Teesside.

The other common example is road planning which are deemed to be tar bound. We haul these for Northumberland County Council to their recycling centre where they are treated and re-used as a product called foam mix.  This is used as the base tar course in road repairing projects.

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