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Energy from Waste

IBA - Sampling and Testing Protocol

How does the ESA Sampling and Testing Protocol Work?

The protocol requires the plant operator to take an amount of IBA, equivalent in size to a lorry load, from the IBA stream twice a month on randomly chosen days. It then provides detailed guidance as to how to mix this IBA and remove a 40 to 50 kg sample suitable for laboratory testing. 

The samples are then sent off site to independent laboratories to be tested for a wide range of hazardous properties as set out in the relevant Environment Agency Guidance WM2

The testing is designed to assess whether the IBA from the plant as a whole contains high enough quantities of certain materials to be classed as hazardous. However, the quantities of such materials in the individual samples or sub samples can vary.  To account for this, the IBA from the plant is classed as hazardous if more than five * of the 24 samples taken during the year exceed WM2 limits, or if there is a significant exceedance in a single sample.

This approach is explained in more detail in the Explanatory Note

* The sampling approach was revised in Jan 2013 to require two samples to be collected on different days per month to ensure better representation of the input waste. Prior to this date IBA would be classed as hazardous if more than six of the 24 samples exceeded the WM2 threshold