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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.

If a demolition or renovation project is entered with an eye toward the environment and human health, the impact to both can be lessened or even removed. This will allow communities to continue to grow in harmony with the citizens and environment.

Demolition Waste Fines

Portions of Senate Bill 54, Section 260.211, which was signed by the governor in 2007, went into effect beginning Jan. 1, 2008. The bill increased the fines and penalties for the illegal dumping of construction and demolition waste making it a much more serious violation.

Formerly, illegal dumping of construction and demolition waste was a Class A misdemeanor. Now, the penalty has been raised to a Class D felony. 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.

Also, any property owner that disposes of his or her own personal construction or demolition waste amounting to more than 2,000 pounds or 400 cubic feet on their own property is guilty of a Class C misdemeanor. If the property owner received money, goods or services for allowing others to dump construction and demolition waste on their property they will be guilty of a Class D felony.

Violators can also be required to clean up the waste, or perform community service. For more information about the fines and penalties for the illegal dumping of construction and demolition waste, contact the Missouri Department of Natural Resources' Waste Management Program at 800-361-4827 or 573-751-5401.

Construction and Demolition Waste Regulations

The department 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 deflect liability if the waste is not properly managed and should be considered by the contractors during the bid process.

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

  • 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 - cannot be used as clean fill and cannot be recovered for reuse or recycling.  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. 

For more information about clean fill, recovered materials or regulated wastes, contact the department's Waste Management Program at 573-751-5401 or see Managing Construction and Demolition Waste fact sheet (PUB2045) and Complying with Lead Laws and Regulations - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency webpage. For more information about proper hazardous disposal contact the department's Hazardous Waste Program at 573-751-3176. 


Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral fiber. It can be positively identified only with a special type of microscope. Because the fibers are so small, they can float into the air, where they can be inhaled and accumulate in the lungs. This can lead to diseases like asbestosis, mesothelioma and lung cancer.

Most products made today do not contain asbestos. However, until the 1970s, asbestos was added to a variety of products to strengthen them and to provide heat insulation and fire resistance.

For more information about proper disposal of asbestos-containing materials, contact the department's Air Pollution Control Program at 573-751-4817 or see Asbestos: What is it and why is it a concern? fact sheet (PUB2077).

Asbestos Inspection Requirements

Additionally, 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. The department provides a listing of Missouri-certified asbestos professionals and training providers.

The department requires notification for all regulated demolition and asbestos abatement projects. The information must be submitted to the department’s Air Pollution Control Program 10 working days before the project begins. The department performs a cursory review of the notification for compliance with the applicable asbestos requirements and issues a Notice of Receipt. The Notice of Receipt lists incorrect or deficient information submitted with the notification.

For more information about asbestos inspections and notification requirements, contact the department's Air Pollution Control Program at 573-751-4817 or see Asbestos Requirements for Demolition and Renovation Projects fact sheet (PUB2157).

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 closest department 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 could potentially experience skin and eye irritation, respiratory problems and even central nervous system issues like headaches or dizziness.

For more information about open burning, contact the department's Air Pollution Control Program at 573-751-4817 see Open Burning Under Missouri Regulations fact sheet (PUB2047).

Local Ordinances

There may be local ordinances that are stricter than the state’s rules and regulations. Any business or entity beginning a renovation or demolition project should be aware of all of the ordinances and regulations affecting them before the project starts.

Additional publications available on the department's website.