28. Feb 2018

Surprisingly Common Hazardous Waste in a Demolition

The most well known types of hazardous waste are asbestos and lead paint. SV Demolition runs into these two materials frequently, and we use the proper methods to remove them safely. But, there are five other types of hazardous waste that we find in demolitions that you might be surprised to learn about. These five types of hazardous waste have the potential to be just as dangerous as asbestos and lead paint, so it is critical to be aware of them and know the appropriate, safe removal methods.

  • PCB Caulking. This is a common building material that was used prior to 1978, and we frequently encounter this substance is older buildings, since buildings constructed prior to 1978 are commonly slated for demolition. When the caulking material contains over 50 ppm, it is classified as a hazardous material and handled with appropriate safety measures.
  • Specialty Light Bulbs. Some types of light bulbs have mercury inside. Mercury is a highly toxic and dangerous substance, and it is bad for the environment. Fluorescent and high-density discharge bulbs frequently contain mercury. We search for these bulbs, tag and flag them, and remove them with secure, safe disposal methods.
  • Other Items Containing Mercury. In addition to light bulbs, other household items may contain mercury, such as tilt style light switches, drain traps, float switches, flow meters, pressure gauges, and thermostats. These are all frequent offenders.
  • Lamp Ballasts. The ballasts inside lighting fixtures may contain PCB caulking, so we ensure that the caulking inside fixtures is tested and treated as hazardous if necessary. Even if the fixtures do not have PCB, we still want to properly dispose of them, or even recycle the fixture when possible.
  • Batteries. Batteries may contain cadmium, silver, lead, and mercury, which are all highly hazardous materials. Nearly every type of battery uses these materials. It is critical to remove any type of battery prior to a demolition. They must be identified and disposed of with the proper safety procedures to prevent environmental damage.

SV Demolition provides safe and efficient demolition services throughout the Bay Area, including San Francisco and San Jose. We are the #1 choice of Bay Area contractors seeking reliable demolition services that stay within budget and on time. SV Demolition also serves select parts of Northern and Southern California. Keep your business local and receive highly dependable service. Contact us today at 408.218.0993.