Non-hazardous industrial solid wastes are frequently proposed for beneficial use rather than being disposed in MSW landfills. An example of such an industrial waste is waste-to-energy (WTE) ash. Proposed beneficial use projects for WTE ash often involve some form of land application. Prior to the land application of any solid waste, the possible risk to human health and the environment should be assessed. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) has developed a beneficial use guidance document that provides WTE ash generators with the testing requirements that must be demonstrated before a particular beneficial use scenario is determined appropriate (FDEP 2001). For WTE ash to be deemed safe for land application, the risk associated with two separate pathways should be assessed: direct human exposure and the contamination of groundwater via leaching. While organic pollutants (e.g. dioxins) might be a concern, heavy metals are typically the pollutants that most limit the potential for reuse; heavy metals are the focus of the discussion in this paper.

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