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Why It’s Important to Properly Dispose of Construction Waste

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blog_70-illegal-dumping_optOver the years, we have strived to provide the best service possible to our customers.  We understand that a home is a personal refuge and that a remodeling project can be very disruptive to a homeowner’s daily activities.  At the end of each day our carpenters cleanup the worksite to minimize dust and debris.

We are also concerned about the environment and adhere to high standards in handling and disposing of construction waste materials. Construction waste includes bricks; concrete; wood including painted, treated and coated wood and wood products; drywall; plaster; plumbing fixtures; insulation; roofing shingles; glass; plastics; buckets of ten gallons or more; wiring and piping. We include the cost of demolition and disposal of construction waste in your project estimate.

Unfortunately, in this business there are some contractors out there who do not dispose of construction waste properly and resort to illegal dumping, burying debris onsite or burning debris. While this allows them to reduce their costs, it is at the expense of everyone else. Rising costs of trash disposal, laziness or ignorance of the environmental impact are the primary reasons offenders create eyesores in rural and woodland areas by dumping construction debris. Taxpayers often pay for the cleanup especially if the dumping occurs on public lands.  Investigators will search through the debris for clues about the violators but too often are unable to locate the source.   

Penalties for illegal dumping. 

New York State and other states have laws prohibiting the illegal dumping of construction materials. Penalties for illegal dumping include:

  • Fines up to several thousand dollars
  • Restitution to the property owner
  • Community service

What you can do about illegal dumping.

We contacted Tom Rhodes, Director of the Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency (OCRRA), to discuss the issue and he offered the following advice:

    1. If you are planning a remodeling project and hiring a contractor, ask questions about how construction waste will be disposed of and how to contractor plans to clean up the work site. Always check the contractor’s references.
    2. If you’re remodeling and doing it yourself, dispose of construction waste properly. OCRRA charges a flat rate of $25 per truckload for disposing of construction waste. Waste Management sells dumpster bags and rents dumpsters for construction waste disposal.
    3. In planning your project, consider recycling construction materials. You can contact Habitat for Humanity Restore for a list of items that can be recycled.
    4. If you discover a site where someone has illegally dumped construction waste, you can contact your local police agency or the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation by calling 1- 800- 847-7332 or 1-800-TIPP DEC. DEC employs over 300 Environmental Conservation Officers who investigate reports of polluters.
    5. Some landscapers and homeowners dump yard waste materials and grass clippings in fields and forests. Over time it can build up and create a problem. Be responsible. Dispose of yard waste in a manner where it can be properly composted. Create a compost area on your property or bag waste for composting at a county site.

What are your thoughts about “illegal dumping”?