One particularly important aspect that sets industrial demolition jobs apart from commercial demolitions is the process of hazardous waste management. Basically, all residues that are made of, or contain, substances or materials that pose a risk to the environment and/or human health, as well as the containers used to hold or transport these types of waste products, are considered hazardous.

Often, industrial sites have been used in the manufacture and processing of dangerous chemicals; most of which require stringent and meticulous decontamination protocols. Hazardous waste requires specific treatments and storage, which must always be carried out by specialized personnel.

For a waste to be considered hazardous, it must have at least one of the following characteristics:

Flammability: Flammable waste is that whose residue has a high potential to cause a fire.
Toxicity: Toxic residue is that which represents a poisonous effect on biological organisms that come into direct or indirect contact with it. For example, medical waste falls into this category.
Corrosivity: Corrosivity is the measure of a substance’s ability to cause corrosion. Corrosion relates to the level to which specific elements such as acids and strong bases actively oxidize and dissolve other materials.
Reactivity: Reactive residue can undergo rapid chemical reactions when it comes into contact with various other substances and is therefore potentially dangerous.
Radioactivity: Radioactive residue is extremely dangerous as it is capable of causing fatal diseases such as cancer and thyroid disorders.
Being able to correctly identify the specific characteristics of your site’s demolition waste will better prepare you to complete any industrial demolition project successfully.