Waste Management Program fact sheet
Division of Environmental Quality Director: Ed Galbraith
PUB2251

As Missouri communities continue to grow, older buildings are being renovated or demolished to make room for newer, more modern buildings. Properly managing the waste during the demolition will prevent threats to human health and the environment.

Construction and Demolition Waste Regulations

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources regulates demolition and renovation projects for institutional, commercial, public and industrial structures. The department also regulates residential structure projects such as apartment buildings with more than four units or two or more residential structures. Single residential structures containing four units or less may be exempt from regulation. The Air Pollution Control Program should be contacted to determine the status.

All construction and demolition waste must be properly disposed of at a permitted transfer station or landfill regardless of whether it was generated from a commercial or residential structure. Before a regulated renovation or demolition project begins, the business or entity requesting the work should make the waste disposal a part of the contract. This will reduce liability if the waste is not properly managed and should be considered by the contractors during the bid process.

Demolition or Renovation Wastes

Demolition or renovation operations can create several different kinds of waste.
Those include the following:

  • Clean fill - uncontaminated soil, rock, sand, gravel, asphaltic concrete, blocks and bricks, and minimal amounts of wood, metal and inert solids. These can be used to fill in excavated holes from demolition or construction projects.
  • Recovered materials - includes doors and windows, which can be removed for reuse, or scrap metal and asphalt shingles, which can be taken to a recycling center.
  • Regulated wastes - is anything that is not, or cannot be recycled or used as clean fill. Examples include household trash, demolition or renovation debris. These wastes must be taken to a permitted landfill or transfer station for proper disposal.
  • Hazardous waste and asbestos containing material - the most common hazardous materials encountered during demolition and renovation projects are lead paint and objects contaminated by lead paint. There are many rules and regulations regarding management and disposal of hazardous and asbestos containing materials.

Fines and Penalties

In Missouri, it is a Class D felony for businesses to illegally dispose of construction and demolition waste. A person convicted of criminal disposition will be subject to a fine not to exceed $20,000. The amount of the fine
will reflect the seriousness of the potential impact to human health and the environment. Violators can also be required to clean up the waste, perform community service and serve jail time. Additionally, civil penalties up to $5,000 per day per violation may be assessed for illegal disposal violations.

Asbestos Inspection Requirements

Before a regulated project begins, a licensed inspector must inspect the structure for asbestos containing material. If the inspectors finds regulated quantities of asbestos containing material or assumes it to be in the
structure, an Asbestos Abatement Contractor must complete the project. Abatement contractors are trained in the proper procedures for safely removing and disposing of asbestos containing material.

Open Burning of Construction or Demolition Waste

Untreated wood waste may be burned in most rural areas provided you are granted a permit by the department and check with your local fire district for any local ordinances. Contact your regional office for more information. Any materials other than untreated wood cannot be burned.

The burning of waste can lead to toxic emissions like dioxins, volatile organic compounds and hydrogen chloride. Those nearby the burn site

Fines and Penalties

In Missouri, it is a Class D felony for businesses to illegally dispose of construction and demolition waste. A person convicted of criminal disposition will be subject to a fine not to exceed $20,000. The amount of the fine
will reflect the seriousness of the potential impact to human health and the environment. Violators can also be required to clean up the waste, perform community service and serve jail time. Additionally, civil penalties up to $5,000 per day per violation may be assessed for illegal disposal violations. could potentially experience skin and eye irritation, respiratory problems, and even central nervous system issues like headaches or dizziness.

For More Information

Report an Environmental Concern
MoDNR Regional Offices


Nothing in this document may be used to implement any enforcement action or levy any penalty unless promulgated by rule under chapter 536 or authorized by statute.


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