UPDATE: New Changes to Treated Wood Waste Disposal Rule


EUREKA, Calif. (KIEM) – New changes have been made to the rule that prevents local waste disposal sites from taking treated wood waste.

The California department of toxic substances (DTSC) recently announced that on January 1, 2021, they will no longer allow landfill disposal of treated wood waste because it has dangerous chemicals.

Treated wood waste has chemical preservatives that help protect the wood from insects and fungal decay. Examples of chemically treated wood are fence posts, sill plates, landscape timbers, pilings, guardrails and decking. They can pose a risk to human health and the environment if they aren’t properly managed at solid waste landfills.  

Therefore, transfer stations and rural container drop off sites were planning to no longer take treated wood waste. In fact, households and businesses will soon be required to dispose of this material as hazardous waste.

However, they have made new changes to the rule.

Now, DTSC plans to issue temporary variances to allow treated wood waste to continue to be managed with the alternative management standards and disposed in composite lined landfills.

This is to avoid the possible mismanagement and illegal disposal of treated wood waste that the additional requirements and disposal costs of the new rule are expected to cause.

Executive Director of Humboldt Waste Management Authority, Jill Duffy, says,” This is happening with a pretty short notice, so most facilities are not prepared. So we’re looking for some form of variance so that we can do the necessary public outreach in addition to handling this material in the most efficient manner that we can.”

The Humboldt Waste Management Authority is the only hazardous waste facility in Humboldt County, and they are prepared to make quick adjustments as changes are made to the new rule.

As of now, residents can bring in up to 100 pounds of treated wood per customer with sections no longer than 3 feet. It is also asked that you remove nails, staples, screws and fasteners.