The performance of two tests, a batch test and a percolation test for the characterization of waste as suggested in the EU council decision 2003/33/EC was investigated. The tests were carried out on two solid waste streams from a metal recycling industry. The concentrations of heavy metals Such as Cu, Zn and Pb were more than one order of magnitude lower than the proposed limit values. Generally, batch test values were equal or higher than percolation test values. With the proposed test procedures both materials could be considered as non-dangerous wastes. The test performance was also investigated using a leachant with higher ionic strength instead of demineralized water as prescribed. The results clearly show a significant increase in the concentration of some heavy metals. Total concentrations of phenolic compounds and polychlorinated biphenyls were less than 1 p.p.m. and 2 p.p.b., respectively. The precision of the batch and the percolation tests were on average 48 and 35%, respectively.