November 2017

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Asbestos Disposal and Potentials for Recycling

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Asbestos Disposal and Potentials for Recycling | Orange County Waste Removal

Asbestos is a once abundant building material, now known as a risk factor for certain types of cancer and other diseases. Asbestos abatement and disposal are now major concerns in cities and rural areas all around the country.

In the last decades, an increasing number of state, federal, and local government municipalities, along with private property owners, have started focusing on removing this hazardous material from their buildings, and laws exist which mandate this in some circumstances, such as the renovation of child care and health care facilities and demolition of buildings.

Where does all this old asbestos go, and what are the potentials for recycling this material into a non-harmful product?

Disposing of Asbestos Waste

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates how asbestos must be disposed of in waste facilities and how it is handled until it gets there. Buildings slated for demolition are required to have an asbestos inspection by a certified professional before demolition work begins.

When asbestos is present, a report must be filed with the state, who then also regulates asbestos abatement professionals licensed to remove, transport, and dispose of this hazardous waste, as well as licensing the waste disposal facilities accepting asbestos.

All waste disposal facilities accepting asbestos waste need these special licenses and certification issued by the state where they are located. Asbestos waste at landfills must be stored and monitored in special, sealed containers, and it is not treated in the same way as average materials brought to a landfill. These factors contribute to the cost of removing and disposing of asbestos materials.

Recycling Asbestos

Prospects for recycling asbestos are being driven ahead by the high cost of storing this material in waste facilities. However, there are still no comprehensive asbestos recycling programs in place.

There has been some research into the question, however, and it is possible to chemically treat metal pipes and vents coated with asbestos to release the coating and reuse or recycle the pipe. But, reusing the asbestos fibers themselves is a technology which has only started.

Heating asbestos fibers until they melt and turn into inert glass or ceramic is one method for rendering asbestos into a useful but harmless form. However, doing this is still not cost-effective on a large scale.

While we wait for asbestos abatement technology to come along, contact Tri Span Inc. if you need assistance with asbestos abatement and disposal in Southern California now.