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Expansion Into Waste Consultancy

22 November 2011

Costain’s Geotechnical Services Division (GSD) has expanded its portfolio of activities with the introduction of waste consultancy services.

The move fits in with the recent steady expansion of Costain’s services, from its traditional role as a construction and engineering Company, to a full solutions provider.

With increasingly stiff penalties being levied on organisations that incorrectly dispose of waste materials, GSD’s latest service has proved increasingly popular since it was set up six months ago.

“Initially we would check the source of the material and site history and apply the correct European Waste Code”, explained Senior Geotechnical Engineer, James Dodd.  When the correct European Waste Code has been applied the material can often be classified as non-hazardous or hazardous with no further action being taken.

Aside from these clear-cut decisions, some are trickier, said James.

“There are certain sources of material known as ‘mirror entries’ that can be either hazardous or non-hazardous, depending on the concentration of dangerous substances they contain. We get laboratory testing carried out and check it against the relevant thresholds to determine if it’s hazardous or non-hazardous.”

Most of GSD’s work in this new field comes from Costain project teams that move on to a brownfield site to start a contract and need to find out if they have hazardous materials on site. GSD undertakes site investigation work, taking samples for analysis to determine the levels of contamination: “Project teams will contact us to carry out soil sampling and are often surprised by the service we can offer,” said James.