It’s no secret that construction sites regularly contain various types of hazardous materials and demolition waste. Some of these materials are easier to recognize than others. Regardless, the process of safely identifying and removing hazardous waste is essential for any construction business. This blog post will cover which materials are hazardous, details regarding Florida state regulations, the proper gear to be used, potential penalties for improper disposal, required training, and more.
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Florida Regulations For Hazardous Waste
When it comes to Florida state regulations, it’s important to keep in mind that if a material is hazardous, then it must be recycled, treated, stored, or disposed of at a HW facility authorized by the DEP, EPA, or another state. It’s also vital to remember that your business is responsible for the waste from “cradle to grave.” In other words, even if your business sends your hazardous waste to an authorized HW management facility, if there is improper management along the way, you can be held liable.
Which Materials Are Hazardous?
Hazardous materials mean that they’re flammable, toxic, radioactive, corrosive, or may injure the human body. Let’s take a quick moment to review a list of common hazardous materials. Some of these are obvious, while others are often overlooked. Either way, going over this list will serve as a good refresher of the many different types of building debris to keep a lookout for on the job.
- Aerosol cans
- Fluorescent light bulbs
- Lead-containing items
- Mercury-containing items
- Paint thinners
- Paint strippers
- Sanding dust
Appliances That May be Hazardous
Handling appliances is nearly an everyday occurrence for most construction companies. Unfortunately, many appliances contain chemicals that can be harmful to people and our environment. Here is a list of some of the most common appliances that cannot go into landfills and will require proper disposal management:
- Hot water heater
- Washing machine
- Dryer (for clothes)
- Air conditioner
- Conventional oven/microwave
How to Prepare Your Crew For Hazardous Construction and Demolition Waste
We understand that the health and safety of your crew is a top priority. For this reason, it’s essential to provide the proper gear and training that is needed to handle hazardous construction and demolition waste. The next several sections will provide detailed breakdowns of how you can continue to ensure the safety of your crews.
When using personal protective equipment (PPE), each situation will dictate how much or how little should be worn depending on what kind of hazardous materials are being handled. As a rule of thumb, all PPE should be thoroughly inspected before it is used to make sure there are no rips, tears, or punctures.
The EPA breaks down the use of PPE into four different levels. Level A being the highest level of exposure to hazardous materials, and Level D being the lowest. Each level describes a potential scenario as well as recommendations for the specific gear that should be used. You can find a full breakdown of the levels right here on the EPA website.
In compliance with the Department of Transportation regulations, every person who performs a function related to the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) must be trained. Individuals related to HMR are those who handle, manage, transport, or ship hazardous materials/waste. This also includes those who load, unload, and handle these types of materials. All training should be documented to show that everyone on the crew can safely handle and manage hazardous materials.
Separate Designated Storage
There are many different OSHA regulations related to the storage of hazardous materials. Among all of these regulations, it’s important to note that all hazardous materials must be clearly identified and separated into different waste bins that are separate from nonhazardous waste. Mixing materials together can create issues with disposal that can lead to dangers, such as fires or chemical exposures.
Hazardous Waste Facility
To get the job done right, your organization needs to have a designated hazardous waste facility to dispose of its hazardous waste. These are EPA-approved facilities that can help with treatment, disposal, and storage.
What Happens if Hazardous Waste Isn’t Disposed of Properly?
Dealing with hazardous waste can be costly if it’s done improperly. Not only can hazardous waste contaminate the soil and drinking water or cause fires, but there are associated fines that would hurt your company’s bottom line. With oversight by the EPA, here are its fines for improper disposal:
- Treatment, storage, or disposal without a permit: 5 years and/or up to $50,000 per day violation
- Treatment, storage, or disposal in violation of a permit: 2 years and/or up to $50,000 per day violation
- Transportation of hazardous waste without a manifest: 2 years and/or up to $50,000 per day violation
- Transportation to an unpermitted facility: 5 years and/or up to $50,000 per day violation
- Knowing endangerment: 15 years and/or up to $250,000 or $1,000,000 for organizations
- Illegal export of hazardous waste: 5 years and/or up to $50,000 per day violation
Nonhazardous Construction and Demolition Waste Disposal
Coastal Recycling Services is the leading construction and demolition transfer service in the Jacksonville area. We specialize in the sorting, recycling, and disposal of your construction and demolition debris. Our transfer service does all the heavy work for you by recycling 80 percent of your construction debris and taking the rest to the landfill. Needless to say, when you need to recycle building materials, Coastal Recycling Services has you covered.
We accept all C&D waste in compliance with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, which includes but isn’t limited to:
- Asphalt roofing material
- Wallboard and drywall
- Landscaping materials, such as rocks, soils, and trees
- Clean cardboard
- Wood (unpainted and nontreated)
- Metal scraps
- Scrap shingles
- Siding concrete
- Similar materials
The Leading Construction and Demolition Waste & Recycling Center in The Jacksonville Area
There is a lot of important information to digest when it comes to C&D disposal. When your construction business is dealing with hazardous construction and demolition waste, Coastal Recycling Services in Jacksonville is here to make sure you responsibly and conveniently dispose of those materials. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help with your next job.