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California Classifies Pressure-Treated Wood as Hazardous Material

The following is a press release issued by the County of Mendocino:

Railroad ties are a common form of pressure treated wood [Picture from Pixabay]

Due to expiring State waivers, pressure-treated wood, which is sometimes required by the California Building Code, will be classified by the State of California as hazardous material effective January 1, 2021 (tomorrow). Residential customers will have a limited ability to dispose of treated wood waste with Mendo Recycle for a fee, but immediate solutions are practically not available for commercial customers.

Treated wood waste is any wood treated with chemical preservatives to protect from insects and decay. Commonly referred to as “pressure-treated,” treated wood waste includes (but is not limited to) items such as fence posts, landscape timbers, railroad ties, sill plates and deck joists. Beginning January 1, the State will require that treated wood waste be categorized as hazardous material (HazMat) and the material can no longer be accepted by waste haulers or at transfer stations within Mendocino County.

Supervisor Ted Williams stated, “Big counties have landfills appropriate to handle hazardous materials. This is a problem that focuses impacts on rural counties, creating a new hurdle that is especially difficult for our construction industry. The Rural County Representatives of California (RCRC) has been advocating for a variance from the Department of Toxic Substances Control which might be in effect by February 2021. In the meantime, the only practical recommendation is for commercially generated treated wood waste to be responsibly stored where it is generated so that it can be properly disposed as hazardous material when options become available.”

The Mendocino Solid Waste Management Authority (Mendo Recycle) will be able to accept very limited quantities of treated wood waste from residential customers for a fee, but there is not currently infrastructure available for this service to be provided to commercial customers. Up to 50 pounds of treated wood waste material in 3’ lengths can be brought to Mendo Recycle by residential customers at established times and places for collection of household hazardous wastes. Details for residential customers, including fees, can be found online, at https://mendorecycle.org/HazardousWaste/HHWDropoffFacilities.

For questions regarding disposal of treated wood waste, contact the Department of Toxic Substances Control at www.dtsc.ca.gov/toxics-in-products/treated-wood-waste/ .For further information or questions, please contact Jennifer Lombari, General Manager, Mendo Recycle, (707) 468-9710.

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1 reply »

  1. When you ban disposal of hazardous waste in any rural area it will end up in creeks and back roads. This happened with car batteries and car tires. For over 2 years scrap dealers could not accept lead acid batteries in California so they ended up in every canyon and creek along rural county roads.
    There must be a place to dispose everything sold in our disposable world. Hazmat days help and are worth the extra money unless you want toxic crap everyplace not under 24/7 video coverage.
    I can show you dumps all over this county of TVs refrigerators and other junk. Low Gap Road is a favorite.

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