Once asbestos has been removed from a residence or business it is important that the materials are properly disposed of. Due to the sensitivity of the substance, there is a very strict process that must be followed.
To begin the disposal process, the asbestos must be assigned to one of two categories:
Friable – any substance that contains more than 1% asbestos and can be crumbled by hand when dry.
Non-friable – if the material cannot be crushed by hand.
If the type of asbestos is unknown it is automatically considered friable material to error on the side of safety.
After the asbestos has been categorized, it must be prepared for transportation. For transport, the asbestos-containing material must remain wet to ensure that the fibers do not become airborne. As well as being wet, the material must be placed in approved, marked containers. The asbestos is usually put into 6 mm plastic bags that are clearly labeled as asbestos material. Larger amounts of asbestos are sometimes placed into poly-lined roll-off dumpsters or lined 55-gallon drums specified for this purpose. Any vehicle used in transportation must have identifying marks and all containers must be labeled with the name of the waste generator and location from which it originated.
Next, the asbestos must be linked to the correct paperwork. A Waste Shipment Record (WSR) or Waste Manifest must accompany the asbestos material and be given to the operator of the disposal facility. The operator uses the WSR to ensure that the amount of material delivered matches the amount documented.
Once the asbestos has been categorized, bagged, and properly transported it must be buried at the landfill. The EPA regulates that the asbestos material must be buried by sundown the day it is delivered and covered with at least six inches of fresh soil. Because asbestos becomes hazardous once it has been tampered with, it is very important to follow these procedures and laws to provide safety for everyone involved as well as the integrity of the environment.
The above information is in effect for most of the United States but some States and local regulatory agencies may have other requirements. So it is a good idea to check with local codes and rules before you dispose of asbestos-containing materials.