Once you decide to remove asbestos siding from your home you’ll face another major obstacle: asbestos siding disposal. Due to the health risks involved, you can’t simply dump old asbestos siding into your trash can and put it on the curb, as many states require that material containing asbestos be properly disposed.
Laws and requirements vary from state to state, so you’ll need to get the final world from your own local and state agencies when it comes to disposing of asbestos siding.
In many instances materials that contain asbestos are considered hazardous waste and must be disposed of accordingly, so you won’t be able to put them in your trash or take to a landfill.
Some states do still allow you to dispose of asbestos siding and other materials in landfills, like regular trash, while others require that any asbestos siding disposal is done by a properly licensed contractor in a specified fashion.
Health Issues Regarding Asbestos Disposal
Asbestos is a natural mineral that has been directly linked to various cancers and diseases when fibers are inhaled. While this typically only occurs from heavy, prolonged exposure — such as asbestos miners or workers in shipyards when asbestos was sprayed on — it can impact remodeling and renovation projects when material containing asbestos is removed.
The presence of asbestos itself isn’t dangerous; it’s only when the material is broken up and becomes airborne in large quantities that there is a health risk.
The same is true of the removal and disposal process. As long as the material is unbroken and undisturbed and no fibers become airborne, siding and other building materials that contain asbestos can be safely removed and disposed of.
Removal and Disposal Options
Once a test confirms that you have asbestos in your home, the next step is to decide whether it’s safer to leave the material in place or remove it.
In many cases it’s actually the removal and abatement process that creates real risk; if done improperly with dangerous levels of fibers released into the air, removing and disposing of asbestos can be far more dangerous than simply leaving it in place.
Contractors must have specific licenses to deal with removing and disposing of asbestos and the necessary equipment to do it safely.
Removing and Disposing of Asbestos Yourself
Even if your state allows homeowners to remove asbestos siding and dispose it it themselves, it’s very important to take the necessary precautions, as the improper disposal of asbestos siding can be very dangerous.
It also typically involves renting a roll-off dumpster, as it produce a large volume of waste that needs to be disposed of plus the siding itself is very heavy, making other methods of hauling it away impractical.
No matter how the siding is disposed of, always be sure to weigh the health and safety risks. Just because someone else is doing the dirty work doesn’t mean you or your family is safe, as depending on the type of job asbestos fibers can linger in the air for quite some time and pose a health risk to anyone around.