An improved iron phosphate waste form for the vitrification, containment and long-term disposition of hazardous metal waste such as radioactive nuclear waste is provided. The waste form comprises a rigid iron phosphate matrix resulting from the cooling of a melt formed by heating a batch mixture comprising the metal waste and a matrix-forming component. The waste form comprises from about 30 to about 70 weight percent P.sub.2 O.sub.5 and from about 25 to about 50 weight percent iron oxide and has metals present in the metal waste chemically dissolved therein. The concentration of iron oxide in the waste form along with a high proportion of the iron in the waste form being present as Fe.sup.3+ provide a waste form exhibiting improved chemical resistance to corrosive attack. A method for preparing the improved iron phosphate waste forms is also provided.