The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA), through the amendments to the Non-Hazardous Secondary Materials (NHSM) regulations, exempted “Construction and demolition (C&D) wood processed from C&D debris according to best management practices (C&D-BMP)” from being categorized as a solid waste if it is used as a fuel or ingredient in combustion units (U.S. EPA 2015a). Consequently, boilers using C&D-BMP as fuel are subject to the EPA emissions standards for boilers, rather than the standards that are applicable to waste incinerators. The objectives of this project were to evaluate C&D-BMP in Florida to determine the extent to which it may be contaminated with metals from wood treatment preservatives. Predominant wood treatment preservatives include CCA (chromated copper arsenate) and alternatives to CCA which consist of copper and a non-metal co-biocide. In order to evaluate the quality of C&D-BMP, this project focused on: (1) updating and expanding the disposal forecast for treated wood waste for Florida with data specific to the last decade, (2) taking new measurements of C&D-BMP in Florida for the year 2016, and (3) comparing results to prior measurements taken in 1996. Results from the updated disposal forecast show that the amount of arsenic and copper disposed in Florida during 1996 was at 900 and 710 metric tons, respectively. The amount of arsenic in the C&D wood waste stream peaked in 2013 at 1,800 metric tons and is now forecasted to slowly decrease to 1,500 metric tons by 2030. Copper is forecasted to increase from 710 metric tons in 1996 to 2,100 metric tons by 2030. Despite these trends which show increases in arsenic and copper in C&D wood waste since 1996, measurements of C&D-BMP in Florida have shown an improvement in quality. In 1996, the fraction of CCA-treated wood measured in C&D-BMP was 6% of the total wood material recovered. In 2016 the CCA-treated wood fraction decreased by almost a factor of 5 to a value of 1.4%. This decrease was accompanied by an increase of copper-based alternatives at 1.6%. The sum of all treated wood (CCA and copper-based alternatives) in C&D-BMP is estimated at 3%, which is about half of the treated wood measured in 1996. Overall a significant decrease has been observed in the proportion of treated wood in C&D-BMP, and especially in the proportion of arsenically-treated wood, within the disposal stream. This decrease is due to a combination of the voluntary industry phase-out of CCA-treated wood effective in 2004, education programs, and improved BMPs that have been implemented in Florida over the past decade. Continuation of education programs to inform C&D recyclers of BMPs are highly recommended for the future.The updated Guidance Document developed through this project is intended to facilitate continued education efforts to keep the C&D recycling industry informed of processes and technologies available that can help to minimize contamination of their wood products from preservative treated wood.

Link to Report

Link to Revised Guidance Document

University of FloridaFlorida international universityUSFMiami UniversityFlorida A&MUCFFlorida StateFAUUniversity of West FloridaFlorida Institute of Technology