What is the process for debris removal?
Fire Debris Cleanup
When a property burns down, there is much to be considered, and cleanup of debris will need to occur in several phases like a fire debris cleanup from a licensed company such as Nielsen Environmental would advise. Clean-up crews must take time to determine where to start.
The fire debris cleanup of fire damaged properties needs to occur in two phases:
• Phase I: Removal of household hazardous waste (HHW). The removal of HHW needs to happen first so that the ash, foundation, and soil that is removed in Phase II can be taken to a Class III landfill. Hazardous waste cannot be deposited in a Class III landfill.
• Phase II: Removal of fire-related structural ash and debris. Local and State government agencies are coordinating to provide assistance with this step. Property owners may also choose to hire a private contractor to conduct the debris removal. Before the property owner proceeds with this option, they must receive approval from Environmental Health Services (EHS).
What is household hazardous waste after a fire?
HHW is waste from homes that poses a threat to public health, animals, or the environment. Hazardous waste includes small quantities of chemicals that are ignitable, toxic, corrosive, or reactive. Examples include pool chemicals, car batteries, antifreeze, used oil filters, solvents, fertilizers, pesticides, propane tanks, disinfectants, aerosols, paint, bleach, and ammunition.
My destroyed property is not residential, or I have large quantities of hazardous waste on
the property that needs to be removed, what do I do?
Contact EHS to discuss Phase 1 hazardous waste removal options. You may be eligible for a drop-off appointment with EHS’ Household Hazardous Waste Program.
Are burned electronics and appliances part of household hazardous waste cleanup?
Teams handling hazardous waste will not remove appliances or electronic wastes, such as TV and computer monitors, computers processing units, or cell phones. These materials will be removed as part of the overall debris removal process.
How do I participate in the Phase I of household hazardous waste removal?
You do not need to do anything to have HHW removed from your property. Your property will be
inspected and household hazardous waste will be removed from the burned area. There will be no charge to the property owner for this activity. Property owners should not attempt to remove or evaluate HHW. Contact with these materials can be toxic, resulting in long term health effects and/or cancer. For properties with locked gates, please contact EHS so that arrangements can be made to provide the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) with access to the property.