According to Directive 2008/98/EC in connection with Decision 2000/532/EC (the European List of Wastes, LoW), waste has to be classified as hazardous or non-hazardous. A waste is defined as hazardous, if it displays at least one of 15 hazard properties. The hazard property ‘ecotoxic’ (HP 14) can be evaluated using a calculation approach based on its content of hazardous substances or using ecotoxicity tests with the respective waste or waste eluate.

Based on the experience obtained in organising an international ring test with more than 60 laboratories (read more), ECT is perfectly prepared to conduct all tests with waste eluates and solid wastes, which have proven useful for evaluation of the criterion HP 14 ‘ecotoxic’ (see e.g. Moser & Römbke 2009, Römbke 2018). So far, more than 100 different waste types have been tested, coming both from public and private clients. Aquatic and terrestrial test methods have been applied, generally tests with luminescent bacteria, algae and daphnids for eluates, and tests with the bacterium Arthrobacter, various plants and earthworms for solid wastes. All tests are conducted in compliance with the respective guidance (e.g. EN 14735). Together with our 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 (read more). 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 (ISO 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. In a current research project, suggestions are made how to further develop the German strategy for ecotoxicological characterisation of wastes (read more).

Finally, ECT staff members are trained to use the results of these tests for the classification of waste material according to the HP 14 criterion as specified in Directive 2008/98/EG, Regulation 2017/997 and Commission Notice 2018/C 124/01 (read more).

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

Römbke, J. (2018). Testing of 24 potentially hazardous wastes using 6 ecotoxicological tests. Detritus 1, 4-21.


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