What is Muck Away?

If you work in the construction or civils industry you might have heard of the phrase ‘Muck Away‘. In simple terms, Muck Away is the process of removing waste, mainly soil, from a development site. The material will then be sent to the appropriate location for either disposal, remediation, or reuse.

If your project produces large amounts of waste, it would be worthwhile to arrange a muck away contractor to ensure the compliant removal and disposal of any waste materials.


The different types of Muck Away

Waste materials need to be classified using site investigation reports or WAC (Waste Acceptance Criteria) testing which highlights the chemical and physical properties of the material or potential leachate. This waste material will be classified by the disposal site accepting the waste or soil. For more information on waste soils read our guide here

There are three different landfill waste classifications that would determine the type of Muck Away you would require: Inert, Non-Hazardous & Hazardous.


Inert Muck Away

Inert Waste is material that can be described as clean and will not cause harm to the environment or human health. The UK government defines Inert waste as ‘Waste that does not undergo any significant physical, chemical or biological transformations.

Inert Material can be disposed of at an inert landfill which is permitted to accept it. Before landfill disposal is considered this material could be reused and recycled on-site if the correct risk assessments have been undertaken.


Non-Hazardous Muck Away

Non-Hazardous waste has low levels of contamination which can leach from the material. These should not cause any harm to the environment and human health; however, they are regulated to ensure material is correctly handled.

The accepting disposal site will assess the material against its waste acceptance criteria to make sure it isn’t hazardous. If the material is classified as non-hazardous then it must be disposed of at a permitted site. It could also be recovered and reused if the material is deemed safe and a risk assessment has been conducted.

This could also include Japanese knotweed rhizomes which need to be sent to a permitted disposal site.


Hazardous Muck Away

As the name suggests, hazardous waste could be harmful to the environment or human health, although it might not be an immediate risk. Hazardous materials contain substances or properties such as

When removing hazardous materials, you have a ‘duty of care’ and must meet the extra requirement if you are the waste producer, holder, carrier, or consignee. When talking about muck away you would generally be a waste carrier; this means you must:

  1. Register as a Waste Carrier
  2. Make sure the waste is classified correctly on the consignment note
  3. Separate the waste correctly when loading
  4. Complete the consignment note
  5. Leave one copy of the consignment note with the waste producer or holder and keep two copies – these must stay with the waste until it reaches its destination
  6. Take to authorised waste site as stated on the consignment note
  7. Keep consignment record for one year


How is the waste removed?

The soil or waste material will have been excavated or removed to allow for construction on site. This excavated material is then loaded into the back of haulage vehicles, this is often:

The material will then be transported to the permitted disposal destination depending on the material classification.


Who can provide muck away?

Muck away is provided by businesses that have a registered waste carrier licence with the government. If your business does any of the following you must register as a waste carrier:


GMAT has partnered with waste recovery sites and haulier across the UK to ensure you muck will be compliantly removed and handled. Get in touch on 0161 647 7409 or HERE







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