Natural Disaster Assistance for Missouri Citizens - What To Do With Disaster Debris - PUB0756

Department of Natural Resources fact sheet
05/2021
Department of Natural Resources Director: Carol S. Comer
PUB0756

The following guidance applies only after the governor has declared a state of emergency due to damage caused by a natural disaster.

After the governor issues an executive order giving the director of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources the authority to temporarily waive or suspend rules and regulations under their authority, the Department may waive these requirements during the emergency and the subsequent recovery period. However, there may be certain requirements that remain in effect during this time, and because failure to comply with federal or state requirements could affect financial assistance reimbursement, this fact sheet provides guidance to ensure requirements are met and delays in reimbursement, due to non-compliance, are reduced.

Appliances

Large appliances may not be disposed of in landfills. What items are considered large appliances? Clothes washers and dryers, trash compactors, dishwashers, freezers, refrigerators, air conditioners, conventional ovens, ranges/stoves, and woodstoves. Not sure if your appliance is prohibited from the landfill nearest you? Contact the landfill to see if an item is banned from being disposed there.

Local governments are encouraged to coordinate collection of damaged appliances and help establish a centralized collection site to accumulate these items. Having the items ready for pick-up in one location will facilitate collection of these items by local salvage companies or recyclers. Check in the yellow pages of telephone directories or look online for recycling companies and scrap metal dealers in your area.

The Waste Management Program and Solid Waste Management Districts may also have additional information about recycling throughout the state. Contact the program at 800-361-4827 or 573-751-5401 for this information.

Dead Animal Disposal

Unless you have an approved animal mortality plan to implement for animal losses that occur during disaster events, the Department recommends that you contact these agencies to discuss the considerations and requirements needed for proper animal disposal:

State Veterinarian, Missouri Department of Agriculture 573-751-3377
Department of Natural Resources' Waste Management Program 800-361-4827 or 573-751-5401

Hazardous Chemical Waste (Drums, Tanks and Barrels)

If you find sealed drums, tanks or barrels of unknown contents, call the Department’s Environmental Emergency Response hotline at 573-634-2436. If a propane tank is embedded in flood debris, a company distributing gas may be able to identify the tank and return it to its proper location. (Propane tanks are identified with serial numbers.) All above ground or underground leaks of fuel or other hazardous substances should be reported to the Department’s Environmental Emergency Response hotline at 573-634-2436.

Household Hazardous Waste (HHW)

Cities and counties are encouraged to establish HHW collection programs for these flood wastes. Homeowners and workers should use caution when cleaning up household products in leaking or damaged containers. Wear rubber gloves and avoid breathing any fumes or dust. Avoid working around these damaged products in confined or poorly ventilated areas. For more information, see the Department’s Household Hazardous Waste webpage.

Sandbags

Sandbags that have not become contaminated may be used as clean fill material so long as they are subsequently covered with a layer of soil or other structural materials to a depth of at least 12 inches. Sandbags may also be used as daily cover at permitted sanitary landfills. Placement of the sand in playgrounds, sandboxes or other areas of direct human contact soon after use in sandbags should be avoided, as the sand may have been exposed to harmful bacteria in floodwaters. Bacteria will dissipate with time and exposure to the elements. Sand could be stockpiled and used for winter road sand, fill, concrete or mortar sand, and other uses. Sandbags may be stored indefinitely in piles so long as local ordinances are observed. Sand from broken bags should be prevented from eroding into waterways or storm sewers. If sandbags are emptied of their contents, the bags themselves must be properly disposed of in a permitted disposal facility to reduce the potential for litter problems.

Testing of sand from the sandbags will not be required unless they appear obviously contaminated or were co-mingled with any hazardous materials. Follow proper testing and disposal procedures for sand that appears to have been contaminated by petroleum or other hazardous materials.

For more information about re-use or disposal of sand bags, contact the Department’s Waste Management Program at 573-751-5401 or the regional office in your area.

Sediment and Silt

Uncontaminated sediment and silt are considered clean fill and will not require sampling. If the sediment or silt is known or suspected to be contaminated with petroleum products or other chemicals, contact the Department’s Environmental Emergency Response hotline at 573-634-2436, to find out options for disposal.

Storm-Damaged Home Furnishings

Home furnishings including carpeting, draperies, linens, kitchenware, furniture and mattresses must be disposed of in a permitted sanitary landfill.

Structural Debris and Treated Lumber

Uncontaminated concrete, rock, brick and other inert materials defined as “clean fill” under state law may be buried onsite. Treated wood and coated construction materials are not considered clean fill and cannot be burned or buried. These materials must be taken to a permitted landfill for disposal.

Contact municipalities for information on local collection of this material or the location of a centralized drop-off area.

Material containing asbestos (transite siding, pipe, insulation), tires and other materials that may generate toxic fumes (plastics, synthetic materials and shingles) cannot be burned, but must be disposed of in a permitted landfill.

Commercial, institutional, industrial and residential structures with more than four living units (or that are a part of a larger project) must be inspected for asbestos containing materials prior to demolition or renovation activities. Inspections must be conducted by Department certified inspectors. Department notification is required prior to demolition or renovation activities of these structures. Asbestos removal may be needed depending upon the type and amount of asbestos materials identified. Lists of asbestos inspectors and asbestos contractors is available from the Air Pollution Control Program at 573-751-4817. Additional information is available in the Department's publication How to Handle Asbestos Containing Debris - PUB2121.

Tires

Tires must not be burned or buried on-site. Tires should be cut into thirds and buried in a permitted sanitary landfill. You may also contact a local tire retailer for other disposal options or contact a permitted scrap tire hauler in your area. Those individuals, businesses, and governmental entities who/ that accumulate more than 500 tires should contact the Department's Waste Management Program at 800-361-4827 or 573-751-5401 for guidance about the proper management and disposal of the tires.

Untreated wood, vegetation, structural debris and lumber

Wood or untreated lumber (lumber that is not CCA-treated or creosote-impregnated) may be mulched for on-site use, if chippers are available; untreated structural lumber may be burned for heating purposes or taken to a permitted landfill for disposal. Vegetative material such as brush, small tree limbs or branches should also be collected for grinding and used as mulch, if practicable. Contact your local public works Department for information on local collection or centralized drop-off areas for tree waste, brush, and other vegetative material.

Burning of untreated wood and vegetative waste, unless addressed under an executive order or waiver by the Department director, will be allowed only when in compliance with the Department’s open burning rule and with approval of local fire officials. Burning of treated wood waste and other demolition waste or debris is not allowed; these wastes must be disposed of at a permitted landfill. 

Burning should be carried out using extreme caution, to avoid areas where there may be gas leaks or other storm-related problems. Be sure to contact your local government and fire authorities prior to any burning to determine if you need a permit or must meet other requirements. Some local authorities regulate open burning, so check with them first. Tires or used oil may not be used to start fires. Straw bales or virgin petroleum products, such as diesel fuel, are acceptable accelerants, just to get a fire started. The ash may be buried on-site and covered with a minimum two feet of clean soil, provided the burial is not in a flood zone or in an area where it may become inundated with flood waters.

In rural areas, to minimize impact on neighbors when open burning, start fires after 10 a.m. and discontinue burning by 4 p.m. For more detail on the Department’s open burning rule, please refer to the Department’s publication Facts on Open Burning Under Missouri Regulations - PUB2047 or contact your local regional office for information.

Regional Offices

The Department's regional offices provide field inspections, complaint investigation and front-line compliance assistance on environmental issues and emergencies. Refer to the map of regional office to determine which office serves your county.

Kansas City Regional Office
500 NE Colbern Road
Lee’s Summit, MO 64086-4710
816-251-0700
816-622-7044 fax
Counties served: Andrew, Atchison, Bates, Benton, Buchanan, Caldwell, Cass, Clay, Clinton, Daviess, DeKalb, Gentry, Harrison, Henry, Holt, Jackson, Johnson, Lafayette, Nodaway, Pettis, Platte, Ray and Worth.

Northeast Regional Office
1709 Prospect Drive
Macon, MO 63552-2602
660-385-8000
660-385-8090 fax
Counties served: Adair, Audrain, Boone, Callaway, Carroll, Chariton, Clark, Cole, Cooper, Grundy, Howard, Knox, Lewis, Linn, Livingston, Macon, Marion, Mercer, Moniteau, Monroe, Osage, Pike, Putnam, Ralls, Randolph, Saline, Schuyler, Scotland, Shelby and Sullivan.

Southeast Regional Office
2155 N. Westwood Blvd.
PO Box 1420
Poplar Bluff, MO 63901
573-840-9750
573-840-9754 fax
Counties served: Bollinger, Butler, Cape Girardeau, Carter, Crawford, Dent, Dunklin, Howell, Iron, Madison, Maries, Mississippi, New Madrid, Oregon, Pemiscot, Perry, Phelps, Pulaski, Reynolds, Ripley, Scott, Shannon, St. Francois, Ste. Genevieve, Stoddard, Texas, Washington and Wayne.

Southwest Regional Office
2040 W. Woodland
Springfield, MO 65807-5912
417-891-4300
417-891-4399 fax
Counties served: Barry, Barton, Camden, Cedar, Christian, Dade, Dallas, Douglas, Greene, Hickory, Jasper, Laclede, Lawrence, McDonald, Miller, Morgan, Newton, Ozark, Polk, St. Clair, Stone, Taney, Vernon, Webster and Wright.

St. Louis Regional Office
7545 S. Lindbergh, Suite 210
St. Louis, MO 63125
314-416-2960
314-416-2970 fax
Counties served: Franklin, Gasconade, Jefferson, Lincoln, Montgomery, St. Charles and St. Louis.