Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet
State has guidelines for disposing of storm debris
FRANKFORT, Ky. (April 4, 2006) - The Department for Environmental Protection (DEP) has specific guidelines for proper disposal of woody and vegetative debris left in the aftermath of severe storms.
The department encourages recycling, and Kentuckians should contact their local solid waste coordinator to learn where debris may be taken or if it will be picked up curbside. Burning is permitted in narrow circumstances and under specific conditions.
Kentucky restricts open burning. Because of forest fire hazards, burning within 150 feet of woodlands or brush land remains illegal from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. through April 30. The burning of household trash other than uncoated paper products is illegal year-round.
Local governments are strongly encouraged to recycle debris by shredding or chipping for reuse as mulch. Local governments lacking the equipment are encouraged to consider commercial shredders or to explore the possibility of assistance from other cities and counties.
If recycling is not feasible, cities or counties should identify staging areas at which storm debris can be temporarily stored or burned. At a minimum, staging areas must be well away from residences and businesses. They also must be out of floodplains and away from sinkholes and drainage channels.
Staging-area locations must be provided to the nearest DEP regional office. DEP staff will inspect the site to ensure it meets specific environmental criteria. Once a staging area is approved, material may be disposed of through controlled burning. Local fire departments should oversee the burning and ensure there are adequate fire breaks.
To minimize environmental impact, debris should not be burned until dry, at least on exterior surfaces. Small amounts of clean diesel fuel or kerosene, not to exceed five gallons, may be used to aid ignition.
Residents needing to dispose of storm debris on their property should contact their local emergency operations center for instructions. Most counties address the handling of disaster debris in five-year solid-waste management plans submitted to DEP’s Division of Waste Management. The guidance usually is in cooperation with the local department for emergency service.
Information about what to do about damage from a storm, and restrictions on open burning, is available through Web sites of DEP and other agencies of the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet.
EPPC Storm debris disposal guidelines, resources
Woody vegetative waste - Recycling by shredding or chipping is encouraged. If recycling is not feasible, contact the solid waste coordinator <http://www.waste.ky.gov/programs/rcla/County+Solid+Waste+Coordinators.htm>.
Local governments should contact the Division of Forestry - district offices are online at <http://www.forestry.ky.gov/distoff/> - and DEP regional offices - online at <http://www.dep.ky.gov/regionaloffice/> - for approval of burning.
Storm-damaged building materials, appliances and furniture may not be burned. Property owners should separate storm debris into three piles for curbside pickup or hauling by the local government to a central stage area or an appropriate landfill.
· Construction/demolition debris - Building materials - bricks, concrete, masonry, rock, wood or lumber, insulation - should be disposed of at a construction/demolition landfill, listed online at <http://www.waste.ky.gov/programs/sw/Kentucky+Solid+Waste+Facilities.htm>
· White goods - This includes refrigerators, stoves, water heaters, AC units, and washer/dryers. Damaged appliances can be picked up by a hauler and taken to a recycling center or county staging area. Information on recycling centers is available on the Division of Waste Management’s recycling page at <http://www.waste.ky.gov/recycling/>. Freon must be recovered prior to crushing or recycling.
· Contained landfill/household garbage - Garbage and all residential waste and household hazardous waste (pesticides, dried latex paint) should go to a contained landfill, listed at <http://www.waste.ky.gov/programs/sw/Kentucky+Solid+Waste+Facilities.htm>
The Kentucky Office of Insurance offers a brochure, "After the Storm Has Passed," online at <http://doi.ppr.ky.gov/Kentucky/Documents/pubs/After_the_storm_2005.pdf>
Special handling applies to:
· Livestock carcasses - Contact the Department of Agriculture’s Division of Animal Health, (502) 564-3956, for information and assistance on proper disposal.
· Abandoned and orphaned drums - Don’t attempt to dispose of a drum since it may contain hazardous materials or waste. Note the location and contact either the local disaster services office or a Department for Environmental Protection regional office.