Common Construction and Demolition Wastes

Common wastes in construction and demolition that may be dangerous waste are described in the table below.

Identify and designate waste offers specific information on identifying what is dangerous waste.

Links go to publications or pages that offer more information on the waste.

Waste

Where / Why

Waste Code

Absorbent materials, see Shop Towels Absorbents contaminated with dangerous waste become dangerous waste. Code depends on materials absorbed
Aerosol cans Propellant is most likely ignitable, and the product may be dangerous waste. Char: D001, D003,Test to determine the waste code of contents
Asbestos-containing Materials Asbestos can lodge in the lungs and cause serious problems... older types of floor tile, insulation, or other materials  
Empty Containers/ Drums    
Lead-containing materials Siding or drywall with lead paint, lead flashings, lead in plumbing & pipes D008 or recycle as scrap metal without codes
Mercury-containing light Bulbs/lamps

(Fluorescent bulbs)

Bulbs and tubes can be characterized as toxic, due to mercury, but they can be handled as a universal waste. (See Universal Waste.) Not needed, if handled as Universal Waste
Mercury-containing Thermostats Thermostats can be characterized as toxic, due to mercury, but they can be handled as a universal waste. (See Universal Waste.) Not needed, if handled as Universal Waste
Mercury-containing switches and relays    
PCB-Containing Light Ballasts Ballasts listed with PCB concentration of ≥ 2 parts per million WPCB
Paint, waste or expired, oil-based Waste paints, varnish, solvents, sealers, thinners, resins, roofing cement, adhesives, machinery lubricants, and caulk.

Ignitable if flash point is below 140°F

State-only waste, often, due to metal content.

D001
Sludge or “bottoms” from solvent still that recycles gun cleaner or thinner Listed and often ignitable waste:  Still bottoms from a still where the solvent blend contains, before use, 10% or more of solvents such as, toluene, and MEK.  The mixture also has a flash point below 140°F. Listed: F005

Char: D001

Waste methylene chloride paint stripper (unused)

See Solvents.

Listed waste: The discarded material is a commercial chemical product listed for toxicity. Listed: U080

 

Waste methylene chloride paint sludge stripped from buildings. See Solvents. Listed waste: The solvent blend contains, before use, 10% or more of methylene chloride.Listed: F002
Waste gun-cleaning solvent  See Solvents. Listed and ignitable waste: The solvent blend contains, before use, 10% or more of solvents such as, toluene, and MEK.  The mixture also has a flash point below 140°F. Listed: F005Char: D001
Waste paint thinner See Solvents Listed and ignitable waste: The solvent blend contains, before use, ten percent or more of solvents such as, toluene, and MEK.  The mixture also has a flash point below 140°F. Listed: F005 Char: D001
Shop Towels/Rags Contaminated with Dangerous Waste Absorbents soaked with dangerous waste become dangerous waste.  However, non-dripping rags/ towels are not considered dangerous waste if they are:
  • Laundered at an appropriate facility
  • Stored in containers away from a source of ignition AND
  • Not mixed with other waste.
Code depends on materials absorbed.  Not needed if properly laundered.
Sanding dust Sometimes characteristic-toxic, if dust is from older buildings.  Test to determine waste code.
Treated wood  lumber, posts, ties, or decks, and utility poles