Construction and demolition

Construction, demolition, and building renovation can expose toxic chemicals to workers, neighbors, and the environment. Businesses that handle waste from construction and demolition sites must follow dangerous waste regulations:

New construction

New construction creates dangerous waste from things like:

Designate and dispose of these materials properly.


Demolition can impact the health of workers and those living nearby. It can expose or release toxic chemicals into the air or environment, such as:

Businesses must gather information and fully assess a building before demolition can begin.

Before demolition: Assess the building

Assessment determines if the building contains or will generate any dangerous waste. Follow these steps to assess a building:

1. Gather information about the site (age and previous uses)

Learning about a building's age and previous uses can inform you about the types of potential dangerous waste and other hazards to look out for. Older buildings in particular may have dangerous waste.

2. Designate the building OR sample individual waste streams

Designate the building for dangerous wastes

We strongly urge designating the building as a whole before demolition. It is much easier to sample a standing structure than a large pile of debris.

Separate materials that designate as dangerous waste for dangerous waste disposal.

Sample individual waste streams

If you choose to sample waste streams, take one representative sample of each waste to be tested. Depending on test results, the debris pile is managed either:

  • Entirely as solid waste,
  • Entirely as dangerous waste.

It may be cost effective to remove and manage individual waste streams prior to demolition

3. Apply to demolish, renovate, or burn a building that contains asbestos

Businesses that plan to demolish or renovate a building, or a fire department that wants to burn a building that contains asbestos for fire training, must submit certain forms and permits before doing so.

After demolition: Dispose properly

Once demolition is complete, dispose, recycle, or treat all building materials based on how they designate.

Frequently asked questions