1 DECEMBER 2002
Many common items contain hazardous waste that will contaminate the rest of the C&D
materials if left onsite during demolition. The best management practice is to remove
these items prior to demolition or during deconstruction.
Mercury-containing materials and treated lumber are commonly found in
construction and demolition debris. Mercury or mercury vapor can be found in
fluorescent light bulbs, high-intensity discharge lamps, thermostats, old mercury-
bearing wall switches, and a variety of switches, relays and gauges. Wastes
containing these items must be characterized as hazardous or not using the TCLP
Batteries are found in emergency lighting, exit signs, security systems and other
alarms. They may contain lead and cadmium.
Roof vent flashings often contain pure lead. Lead pipes may also be found in older
Lumber treated with chemicals and preservatives and considered for disposal or
reuse in a project may require special handling. It should never be shredded for
composting or for use as mulch. Burning is inappropriate if the treatment chemical
concentrations are high enough to cause the ash to be hazardous waste, or the
smoke to be a pollutant. Treated lumber includes marine piling and fenders, utility
poles, rail ties, and other dimensional lumber that has been coated or impregnated
with pentachlorophenol, creosotes, and arsenic compounds. Project managers can
reduce treated lumber waste by reusing it in landscaping, berms, parking barriers,
retaining walls, fencing, pole barns, and other applications calling for treated lumber.
Coordinate with environmental managers before reusing treated lumber in situations
where chemicals could leach into the ground, or to determine disposal requirements
if it cannot be reused.
Buildings where plating operations or extensive parts cleaning occurred may have
materials containing regulated heavy metals or solvent chemicals that were spilled.
Paint, oil, pesticides or other materials stored on the site must always be removed
and properly disposed before demolition.
Blue and yellow paints and coatings may contain regulated levels of cadmium and
Project managers should coordinate with environmental managers when planning
demolition or deconstruction. Environmental Impact Analysis Process (EIAP) and
Installation Restoration Program (IRP) documents will provide clues to hazardous
materials likely to be encountered. Ensure unspecified materials are sampled, tested,
and characterized as hazardous or not and manage them accordingly.
SITE ACCESSIBILITY. The site's accessibility to equipment, the contractor or
the public affects the viability of each method. Site conditions may be favorable for one
method of building removal and less favorable for another. Deconstruction is generally