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What You Should Know About Demolition in Alaska
Planning your demolition project in advance will save you some major headaches.
In order to ensure your project goes smoothly, you’ll want to start planning your demolition project quite a bit in advance. There are several things you’ll need to take care of before demolition can begin, including:
- Identifying and properly disposing of any hazardous materials
- Considering deconstruction, material reuse, or recycling options
- Designating a proper disposal method for debris
You (typically) must apply for a permit before beginning demolition.
Before demolition can begin, the homeowner or demolition contractor must apply for a permit via the designated building office.
Chapter 1, Section 104.2 of the International Building Code (IBC) states that a building official is responsible for reviewing applications and related documents for the demolition of structures.
Federal regulations require the identification of any hazardous materials prior to demolition.
Prior to beginning any demolition or renovation project, a person trained to identify potentially hazardous materials must perform a building survey and record the presence or absence of asbestos-containing materials, lead-based paint, and other hazardous materials.
Some of the most commonly found hazardous wastes include:
- Lead-based paint
- Lead pipe and solder
- Fluorescent tubes and bulbs
- Mercury switches and thermostats
- Paints, solvents, or pesticides
- PCB-containing transformers or light ballasts
- PCB-containing paint or caulking
- Radionuclide-containing smoke detectors
- Refrigerants from air conditioning units
All types of demolition debris must be disposed of properly.
Non-hazardous construction and demolition (C&D) debris must be disposed of in a landfill permitted to accept it. This includes most municipal landfills, and there are several C&D-specific landfills that are operated throughout Alaska for commercial use.
For remote projects, contact the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) to learn more about applying for a permit to perform a project-specific landfill.
If hazardous materials, like asbestos, are present, they must be removed properly prior to demolition. Although Alaska does not have any permitted hazardous waste landfills, if you qualify as a conditionally exempt small quantity generator (CESQG), you may be permitted to dispose of hazardous materials at a permitted Class I or Class II landfill. However, you cannot dispose of CESQG waste at Class III landfills, which are the landfills located in small, rural areas.
The best way to determine whether or not your local landfill accepts CESQG waste is by calling them directly or contacting the ADEC.
If you’re responsible, there are some exemptions to these solid waste regulations.
There are some exemptions to these Solid Waste Regulations so long as the exempt wastes aren’t mixed with other wastes and are not a health, safety, or environmental danger.
Some of the most common exempt wastes found in demolition projects include:
- Land clearing waste (excavated dirt, rock, soil, butt ends, limbs, stumps, foliage, etc.)
- Bricks and mortar
- Unpainted Portland cement type concrete and associated steel rebar (if it’s not easily removed)
If you have any questions regarding the proper disposal of various wastes, refer to Alaska’s Division of Environmental Health’s comprehensive waste disposal guide.
Renting a dumpster to wrangle that debris may be your best disposal option.
Oftentimes, demolition contractors will include the price of hauling in their quote, but always be sure to ask when calling around for quotes. If they don’t haul away the debris for you—or you would rather handle the debris yourself—renting a dumpster is a great way to get rid of it properly.
Hometown Dumpster Rental is the most convenient way to find a quality local dumpster rental provider near you. You can learn more about companies and the services they offer, what other customers have to say about them, and contact them directly—all in one user-friendly place.
Learn more about dumpster pricing:
Consider deconstruction to reduce project costs and help the environment.
Deconstruction, or “green demolition,” is the act of dismantling a building in order to salvage any reusable materials. That can range anywhere from flooring and baseboards to plumbing and appliances.
This significantly reduces the amount of material clogging our landfills and can actually save you money.
Deconstruction is a great way to save money on overall demolition by eliminating the salvageable material first. Depending on your location and particular project, a charitable organization, like Habitat for Humanity, may be interested in deconstructing your home in exchange for the materials they salvage.