Trichloroethylene (TCE) is an Environmental Protection Agency priority pollutant associated with cancer in humans. With numerous industrial applications and regular landfill disposal, TCE is a common landfill leachate pollutant. In situ treatment barriers use costly fill materials such as granular activated carbon (GAC). Here, we show that while a range of untreated waste materials had little ability to adsorb TCE, waste-derived biochar showed excellent capacity for TCE adsorption. TCE removal efficiencies by spruce and oak-derived biochars were > 99.5 %, outperforming GAC (95 %) and herbal pomace biochar (93 %). A contact time of at least 32 h was required to reach equilibrium for all of these media. Assessment of pollution swapping potential revealed release of phosphate by all biochars. Analysis of media surface characteristics by Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) predicted that GAC should have the highest ability to adsorb TCE, followed by Oak Biochar, Herbal Pomace Biochar 1, and Spruce Biochar 2, which was not in agreement with the experimental adsorption data. These data demonstrate the potential for pyrolysed waste material to be used as an alternative fill material for in situ remediation applications, thereby also addressing the European Circular Economy Strategy.