May 2007

Managing waste

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EPA regulations must be followed to avoid significant fines

by Harry Dietz
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Handling job-site waste always has been a concern for roofing contractors. Whether trying to fill roll-off trash bins efficiently to get the most out of each load, segregating materials for recycling purposes or handling new materials prudently to avoid waste, proper waste handling directly can affect your bottom line.

However, because waste disposal has been managed similar to many other cost-control issues roofing contractors face (that is to say with limited applicable government regulation), it tends to get overlooked. Under federal regulations, even asbestos-containing roofing material can be disposed of as ordinary construction debris in most cases with minimal intrusion by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

But when it comes to hazardous waste, knowledge of the myriad of federal and state rules relating to storage and disposal is critical. If you happen to be cited for improperly disposing of hazardous waste, it could cost you a signi­ficant amount of money.

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