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How to Dispose of Treated Wood

5/13/2013 4:09:00 PM

Tags: treated wood, recycle wood, hazardous waste, Cheryl Long

deck woodI need to tear down an old deck and I think it may be made of treated wood. How should I dispose of it?

For many years, most outdoor structures were built with pressure-treated wood that had been soaked in chromated copper arsenate (CCA). This pressure-treated wood contains arsenic, chromium and copper, minerals that do not biodegrade and are toxic to soil life.

You should never burn this wood outdoors or in a stove or fireplace; the ashes can be deadly to livestock and humans. Knowing for certain whether wood is treated with CCA is difficult, but CCA was common in decks, fences and other outdoor structures, so you should assume that wood installed outdoors before 2004 contains CCA. In 2004, manufacturers were finally forced to stop selling CCA-treated wood for residential uses, and less-toxic treatments have since replaced much CCA.

You should take any unwanted treated wood to your local landfill or transfer station and place it in the designated location.

Above: Knowing for certain whether wood is treated with CCA is difficult, but CCA was common in decks, fences and other outdoor structures, so you should assume that wood installed outdoors before 2004 contains CCA.

Photo By Fotolia/alexvav



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