Department of Natural Resources issues waivers to aid in cleanup following tornadoes
Rules relaxed on disposal of vegetation, appliances

Volume 39-003 (For immediate release)
For more information: 573-751-1010

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, JAN. 4, 2011The Missouri Department of Natural Resources is waiving specific solid waste and air pollution regulations to give residents and communities in 14 Missouri counties and the City of St. Louis additional flexibility in cleaning up from last week's severe weather.

The waiver applies to St. Louis, Dent, Franklin, Phelps, Stone, Christian, Webster, Laclede, Pulaski, Carter, Oregon, Washington, Jefferson and Polk counties, as well as the City of St. Louis,

The waiver will allow vegetative waste, such as brush and yard waste, and home appliances – items normally excluded from permitted sanitary landfills – to be taken to such landfills if the landfill agrees to accept the waste. The waiver applies only to vegetative waste and appliances caused or damaged by severe weather that began late Dec. 30 and includes several tornadoes that struck the state Dec. 31.

The department continues to strongly encourage, but not require, composting of vegetative waste and recycling of appliances where practical. The waiver applies only to yard waste and appliances and does not allow disposal of other items normally prohibited in sanitary or demolition landfills.

Cities and counties should coordinate collection of damaged appliances so refrigerants can be legally recovered from air conditioners, freezers and refrigerators before recycling or disposal.

The waiver also allows for the burning of vegetative waste resulting from the storms as long as it is burned on the property where it originated. Community burn sites located within the corporate limits of any municipality mush receive a permit from the department. Burning within St. Louis County and the City of St. Louis must receive a permit from the local air agency or the department.

The burning of vegetative waste from the storms must be done at least 200 yards from the nearest occupied structure and be approved by local fire officials. The department is asking community officials to consider the 200-yard buffer as a minimum and to carefully select burn locations, taking local air quality, public health and safety, and other effects on neighborhoods into consideration.

The waiver shall be in effect until Jan. 31unless extended.  Further information, including the full text of the waiver, is available on the department's natural disaster resources webpage at Fact sheets on proper disposal of storm debris and other related information are also available on this webpage.

Residents should call their nearest regional office for additional information or clarification of the waiver. A list of regional offices and the counties they serve is available on the department’s website at