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Wildfires and Hazardous Waste

November 19, 2018

Our hearts and prayers go out to the people of California suffering from the worst wildfire breakout in recorded history. We've all seen the pain and suffering Californians have had to endure in recent weeks on news channels in regards to both the Camp Fire as well as the Woolsey Fire. Thankfully, thanks to the hard work of emergency services, fire, police, government, and residents alike, the fires are nearly extinguished. Now comes the difficult task of cleaning up and getting some sense of normalcy back in place for the people of California affected by these wildfires.

 

During the long cleanup process which has already begun in many areas, not only are people coming back to charred remains of homes and businesses, but also are finding new hazards in the form of what was once aerosol cans, paint cans, driveway sealers, cleaning solvents, gas cans, drums of Oil, ballasts, radioactive materials, etc that are charred yet still remain, often times containing the liquids still inside of the container or still emitting radiation, leaving residents and business owners to wonder, what do I do now? Who will take this? How do I dispose of hazardous waste I find? ADCO Services is here to help you any way possible.

 

While the enormous task of a cleanup after a natural disaster is an exhausting one, be it from a wildfire, an earthquake, a hurricane for people on the east coast, or tornado sufferers in the middle of the country, these disasters can often pose unforeseen major health threats to those involved in the cleanup process after the event occurs. Chemicals such as old paint cans for instance or cleaning solvents that weren't burned up in the fire or destroyed by whatever event occurred will in 99% of the cases not be useable and must be disposed of properly and should be considered dangerous once discovered. It is important to point out that in many cases these chemicals are acidic or flammable and can cause harm to both the environment, as well as living creatures exposed to these chemicals. Don't EVER open an unknown container containing some sort of liquid as you do not know if it is now under pressure and could explode in your face once the lid is released. It is best you leave the container where it is and let the professionals handle whatever is found and have it packaged properly so I can be disposed of in accordance with Federal Regulations.

 

We also must note that chemicals found in the cleanup after a natural disaster such as the California wildfires should NEVER be dumped into any sewer, down a drain, on the ground, or left to evaporate as often times chemicals can react with one another and cause new fires, explosions, or give off toxic fumes endangering the lives of those exposed to them.  Chemicals found still to be intact during the cleanup process after a natural disaster are also NEVER to be disposed of in a sanitary landfill as again this considered "Illegal Dumping"  of chemicals and will only go right back into the ecosystem, further exasperating the poor environmental conditions plaguing the affected area and can potentially get you in trouble with local law enforcement or regulators which could pose hefty fines and even jail time. 

 

Our staff is fully trained in the proper management of chemicals affected by a natural disaster such as the California wildfires. We are standing by to assist you with the proper disposal of whatever hazardous wastes you find during the cleanup process and have a staff that is standing by to help you get your hazardous waste off your premises and hauled to a licensed disposal facility.