Waste

The ecotoxicological characterisation of wastes according to the criterion H14 ‘ecotoxic’ started only 10-15 years ago, and is still not an obligatory requirement in many countries. Based on the experience obtained in organising an international ring test with more than 60 laboratories, ECT is perfectly prepared to conduct all tests with waste eluates and solid wastes, which have proved useful for the evaluation of the criterion H14 (Moser & Römbke 2009). Since then, more than 100 different waste types have been tested, coming both from public and private clients. Usually aquatic and terrestrial test methods have been applied, generally consisting of a battery of tests with luminescent bacteria, algae and daphnids in eluates, as well as Arthrobacter bacteria, plants and earthworms in solid wastes. All tests are conducted in compliance with the respective guidelines. Together with ours partners, we are also able to offer genotoxicity tests for wastes, such as the umu test, and a characterisation of the tested wastes or waste eluates by analytical methods.

In parallel to these activities, ECT has worked in close co-operation with other stakeholders and the International Organization of Standardization (ISO) to improve test methods for wastes. The most recent example is the standardisation of the ‘Contact test for solid samples using the dehydrogenase activity of Arthrobacter globiformis’. The respective ISO guideline No. 18187 was published in 2016. ECT staff members are also participating in national and international expert groups that recommend and survey the implementation of ecotoxicological tests for wastes.

Finally, ECT staff members are trained to use the results of these tests for the classification of the waste material according to the H14 criterion as specified in the European Waste List (EWL, 2000/532/EC and updates).

Moser, H., Römbke, J., eds. (2009). Ecotoxicological characterization of waste – results and experiences of an European ring test. Springer, New York. 308 pp.

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