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Quality Protocols for Biosolids – Securing the Future

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The government and the regulator in the UK have a program to develop a series of Quality Protocols (QP) whose purpose is to identify the point at which particular materials cease to be waste and therefore when waste regulation controls no longer apply. This paper will report on a UKWIR research project whose objectives are to:



establish criteria for biosolids to achieve ‘product’ status;


develop a QP for the use of biosolids in agriculture;


assess criteria for the use of biosolids used in land reclamation, co-composting and as a fuel.


The aims of the QP for biosolids used in agriculture are to:



judge at what point the material can be considered as a product and not a waste and hence lighten the Waste Management Licensing Regulations (WMLR) administrative burden;


provide procedures which would provide assurance to the stakeholders that the requirements of the Safe Sludge Matrix and the Sludge (Use in Agriculture) Regulations were being adhered to;


provide a useful lobbying tool to influence the drafting of future EU Directives and UK Regulations.


A modular approach to the QP based on the principles of Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) have been applied in order to accommodate the different types of sludge treatment and to control all the stages of the whole process from controlling potential contaminants at source through to land application. The benefits of gaining QP status are that the confidence of stakeholders will be assured by its independently audited rigor, the oversight by regulators can be lightened and those who apply good practice can differentiate themselves from those who do not. The Biosolids QP is a means of securing the future of land application.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2008-01-01

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