Disposal Of Asbestos Containing Material

Once asbestos has been removed from a location, federal regulations dictate that such waste be disposed of in an approved manner, either in special 6 mil plastic bags that have "zip-lock" type fasteners and are sealed with duct tape, or in sealed, 55 gallon drums designed for this purpose.

The rules and regulations regarding asbestos waste disposal vary according to several factors, including the percentage of actual asbestos and what other chemical and/or toxic substances may be present. Local and state regulations also have some bearing on the issue.

Different Types of Asbestos Waste

Friable asbestos material is any substance that contains more than 1% asbestos and can be crumbled or pulverized by hand when dry. If it cannot be crushed by hand, it is considered non friable.

Packings, gaskets, floor covering and asphalt roofing containing more than 1% asbestos is classified as Category I non-friable asbestos-containing material. Anything outside of these products that cannot be crushed and pulverized by hand is considered Category II (non-friable).

Any asbestos product that is friable is considered Regulated Asbestos-Containing Material. This includes products listed above that has or may become friable due to age and exposure or mechanical action such grinding, sanding, cutting, etc.

Asbestos-containing waste materials consist of materials that contain asbestos or have become contaminated with asbestos in the course of demolition or renovation projects. This includes any disposable equipment and protective clothing.

Preparing ACM Waste For Transport

Any potentially friable asbestos-containing materials must be kept wet in order to keep fibers from becoming airborne. It is in this state that they will be packaged for transport to a disposal facility.

All asbestos-containing material (ACM) waste must be placed in approved, marked containers. Smaller amounts are contained in special sealable plastic bags; in addition to being "zipped," these bags must also be sealed with duct tape. Large amounts must be sealed inside plastic 55-gallon drums made for this purpose.

Any vehicle used to transport ACM waste must have identifying markings during loading and unloading, and all containers of ACM waste must be labeled with the name of the waste generator as well as the location from which it is coming.

Paperwork

A Waste Shipment Record (WSR) must be given to the operator of the disposal facility, who must then insure that the amount of waste indicated on the WSR matches the amount actually delivered. Any discrepancies are reported to the state agency (usually the department of environmental quality, or DEQ) to which the initial report of the removal project was made. In addition, a copy of the WSR must be returned to the waste generator within 35 days; if not received within 45 days, the waste generator will need to file a report with the state DEQ.

Information regarding authorized disposal sites and regulations regarding asbestos disposal can be obtained by calling the Environmental Protection Agency Ombudsman at 1-800-368-5888.

It should be noted that private homeowners are not generally subject to the regulations outlined above; however, these regulation are in place for the good of public safety. If you are a homeowner and need asbestos removed from your home, it is always best to have it done by a qualified professional. Otherwise, the best course of action is to follow the regulations and procedures above.

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