In EU countries approximately 150,000 tons/year of galvanic sludges are generated by 4000 industrial units from the corresponding wastewater treatment plants. These sludges are generally classified as hazardous (European Waste Catalogue as adopted in Council Decision 2000/532/CE and as amended by Decisions 2001/118/EC, 2001/119/EC and 2001/573/CE), basically due to the presence of heavy metals. This work attempts to better understand the physical and chemical characteristics of these sludges, by studying 39 samples collected in different Portuguese industries that should represent all kinds of similar wastes independent of their place of generation. Chemical composition and leaching characteristics are given, together with density, grain size distribution, and specific surface area values. Statistical analysis was used for grouping the wastes according to chemical parameters, which might be useful to predict potential reuse as raw materials for different applications.