California homeowners, contractors, and waste and recycling services providers can now find landfills that will accept preservative-treated wood waste through the California Water Boards website. The list is organized by county and includes website links, where available, to each landfill.
According to the Western Wood Preservers Institute (WWPI), the updated list of landfills is the result of recently passed legislation advocated by WWPI to allow more disposal options in the state.
In all, 48 landfills throughout the state have been authorized to accept treated wood waste such as old deck boards, treated framing lumber, wood posts and fencing boards.
Assembly bill 332 statutorily incorporates the former Alternative Management Standards (AMS) for treated wood waste. AMS, which had been in use for some 15 years, allowed preservative-treated wood waste to be disposed in the composite-lined portion of approved Class III solid waste landfills.
The bill was championed by Assemblymember Bill Quirk of Hayward, California. It received broad bipartisan support and was signed into law on Aug. 31.
Legislative efforts to extend the AMS failed late last year, and the disposal standards expired on Jan. 1, 2021. As a result, Californians faced difficulties in disposing treated wood, as disposal was only permitted in a single hazardous waste landfill operating in the state.
In March, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control(DTSC) created a variance program where those disposing treated wood could purchase variances allowing disposal in approved composite-lined landfills. Those treated wood waste variances became inoperative with the new law and are no longer in effect.
The updated standards outline specific responsibilities for handling treated wood waste prior to disposal in an approved landfill. For example, treated wood waste must be stored off the ground on blocks and must be covered to prevent runoff from precipitation. It can be accumulated for storage for no longer than 90 days, unless stored on a containment pad, under which circumstances the wood can be stored for up to 180 days. Treated wood waste stored in a container or storage building can be accumulated for up to a year.
Treated wood waste cannot be burned or comingled with other wood waste. The collection of treated wood waste must be clearly labeled and visible for inspection. Full details on the handling requirements are available on the DTSC website.
WWPI is working with DTSC, landfills and other state agencies to develop training materials to educate users on requirements for treated wood waste disposal. Fact sheets and training materials will be available on the DTSC website and WWPI’s website once they are developed.