What Is Restricted Solid Waste?
Any substance — solid, liquid, or gas — that is emitted, discharged, or deposited into the environment in such great volumes that it alters it. In New South Wales, this is merely one of the definitions for “waste.”
In addition to varying levels on the definition of waste according to jurisdiction, there are also classes of waste: hazardous, liquid, special, general solid (putrescible and non-putrescible), and restricted. Of these, restricted solid waste is considered the highest classification.
Unlike general solid non-putrescible waste (e.g., household waste from municipal cleanup, garden waste, glass, plastic, paper or cardboard, etc.) and all the other classes of waste, and hazardous waste (e.g., coal tar, lead paint, lead-acid batteries, and containers that held substances classified by the Transport of Dangerous Goods Code), restricted solid waste is not pre-classified waste.
No wastes have yet been categorised as restricted solid by the Environment Protection Authority or EPA.
So how does one determine whether they have restricted solid wastes on their site?
Determination is done only through chemical assessment. This assessment is based on the wastes’ potential to emit or produce chemical contaminants into the environment by coming into contact with liquids. This process then leads to the production of leachates.
Before undertaking any sampling and testing, it would be helpful to first eliminate any probability that the waste is not classified as hazardous, liquid, special, or general solid (putrescible and non-putrescible). You can go through the classification carefully.
Alternately, you can consider the history of the site (where the waste is to be found), the activities conducted on the site, and the processes involved that may have led to the production of the waste.
Once all other classes of wastes have been ruled out, classification can be determined through SCC (specific contaminant concentration) testing. This is the initial screening test for classifying waste. The other test to use is the TCLP test, or the toxicity characteristics procedure.
The Waste Classification Guideline lists the maximum values of specific contaminant concentration for classifying restricted solid wastes, without the TCLP and with the TCLP.
But even if you were to learn these values by heart, from arsenic to vinyl chloride, it is best to leave the task — the very technical and very delicate task — to industry-recognised experts. This not only guarantees the classification of waste on the site through legitimate chemical assessments, ensuring proper disposal and remediation procedures are performed, but also because experts in waste management, restricted solid wastes in particular could save you from costly penalties.