Posts Tagged "Construction"

Asbestos still Crashing the Construction Site?

Asbestos use has been phased out since 1989 and banned entirely in 2003, however the myriad of past applications – from building materials to brake linings – does need special consideration when it comes to removing and disposing of the substance. How can contractors and other professionals working at a job site that has or may have asbestos take the necessary precautions? For starters, by working with an accredited abatement contractor.

What is asbestos?

First of all, asbestos is not a single material. The term describes specific naturally occurring minerals that form into aggregates of long, strong fibers. These materials have been used for thousands of years, most abundantly over the last century, primarily in a broad array of insulation applications.

If the fibers separate and become airborne, known as friable asbestos, exposure can lead to adverse health conditions. The decision to remove or not remove asbestos from a site typically depends on whether the asbestos is – or can become – airborne and lead to human exposure. For example, a “popcorn” ceiling or aging insulation that contains asbestos can lead to airborne fibers. Undisturbed building siding that contains asbestos likely would not lead to exposure – this type of material is known as “non-friable”. However, if the siding is improperly removed (e.g., broken and crumbled), it could create airborne asbestos and thereby become “friable”.  … read more

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Removing PCBs from the Largest Sediment Remediation Project in the World

Read about the wreckage from the late 1800s that was uncovered at the site. Source: www.epa.gov. Lower Fox River and Green Bay Site | Region 5 Cleanup Sites
Read about the wreckage from the late 1800s that was uncovered at the site. Source: www.epa.gov. Lower Fox River and Green Bay Site | Region 5 Cleanup Sites

The world’s largest sediment remediation project is currently taking place in northeastern Wisconsin at the Lower Fox River and Green Bay Superfund Site. The project began in 2008 and will ultimately result in the remediation of 7.5 million cubic yards of contaminated sediment.

Advanced Disposal has partnered with the project’s general contractor, Tetra Tech, to provide environmentally-sound waste disposal of approximately 3.4 million cubic yards of sediment contaminated by polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), a toxic substance and probable human carcinogen. From 1954 to 1971, several pulp and paper production facilities released PCBs into the Fox River directly or after passing through the region’s municipal wastewater treatment plants. PCBs have a tendency to sink and adhere to sediments along the river bottom, and the result was a contaminated area stretching for nearly 40 miles from the Lower Fox River through the bay of Green Bay to the point where it enters Lake Michigan. The waterways also contain other contaminants such as dioxins, arsenic, lead, mercury and the pesticide DDT, and the project’s remediation process will address these substances as well.  … read more

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Considerations for Safe Handling and Disposal of PCBs

Advanced_Disposal_Danger_PCBs_3The waste industry’s knowledge of how to properly and safely handle special waste materials, once considered a necessity, has grown along with our understanding of environmental health – a major issue for the waste industry.

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are among the most important entries in this category. PCBs are man-made chemicals used in many building materials from the late 1920s to 1979, but are now associated with reproductive and cancer risks.

PCBs are present in products like electrical equipment and surface coatings, but are particularly prevalent in caulking, grout, and adhesives. In the U.S., approximately 99 percent of all PCBs were manufactured under the trade names Aroclor, Therminol, and Askarel.

For context on PCB prevalence, consider 46 percent of all U.S. public and private school buildings currently in use were either built or renovated between 1958 and 1971 during the time period PCBs were in use.  … read more

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