How to Identify Hazardous vs. Non-Hazardous Construction Waste

Separating hazardous from non-hazardous construction waste is a critical element of construction jobs, especially for large infrastructure projects. Improperly separating the two types of construction waste could increase costs, harm your workers, and lead to fines.

When your team creates or encounters various material on the job site, be sure they understand how to identify the types of waste to ensure proper disposal.

Consider These Four Characteristics of Hazardous Waste

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has identified four characteristics of material that is deemed hazardous:

  • Ignitability: a flash point below 60 degrees Celsius, can cause fires, and are ignitable.
  • Corrosivity: a pH less than/equal to 2 or equal/greater than 12.5, or wastes with the ability to corrode steel.
  • Reactivity: unstable under normal conditions, react with water, give off toxic gases, or explosive in normal conditions when heated.
  • Toxicity: harmful when ingested or absorbed and has the potential to pollute groundwater.

To help identify the properties of each material on the construction site, the EPA developed a helpful flowchart to guide your identification process.

Separate Hazardous From Non-Hazardous Waste

Using the flowchart, if you determine that the material is a solid waste and is not excluded from the list of hazardous waste, then you should check with the EPA to learn if the material has been de-listed.

If the material has not been de-listed, then you need to review the “F” and “K” lists of hazardous waste. Not all waste on these two lists will apply to your construction site. However, you should be mindful of material that falls into these categories:

Going back to the flowchart, you can identify non-hazardous waste if it meets one of three qualifiers: does not qualify as a solid waste, is included on the EPA list of non-hazardous waste, or is de-listed as a hazardous waste.

Consider a Solution to Dispose of Non-Hazardous Waste

After determining the characteristics of the material, you will need to remove the waste from your construction site.

When you are ready, Gainsborough Waste offers non-hazardous waste material hauling and recycling. Our team is equipped to collect your construction waste from the job site and transport the material to our facility for sorting.

To discuss your specific job, we are available to take your call at 713-999-6178. You can also provide us with information about your construction waste disposal needs by completing this form or emailing [email protected].