Floodwater Sandbag Re-use and Disposal
This information is provided by the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy to assist the public and regulated community.
Form #: 11-025 Grant Information Revised: 2/21/23

The department has developed this guidance document to provide Nebraskans information to help manage sandbags and related materials (e.g. sand used to fill sandbags) that have been in contact with floodwaters. These materials may be contaminated with human and animal waste, oil and gasoline residue, and farm chemicals such as fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides.
  • Sand or sandbags that have not contacted floodwater can be reused without restrictions.
  • Sand or sandbags that have contacted floodwater should not be reused in ways that would involve direct human contact, such as in children’s play areas or residential gardening.
  • Sand or sandbags that are contaminated with oil or fecal matter, for example, should be disposed as waste at a permitted municipal solid waste landfill. However, sand may be used as fill (see below). If there is a reasonable expectation that the sand or sandbags could contain hazardous waste, contact NDEE for proper disposal regulations.
  • Sand or sandbags that are not contaminated may be disposed as waste at a permitted construction and demolition debris disposal area or municipal solid waste landfill.
  • Sand that has come in contact with floodwater or has been contaminated may be used as “fill” in accordance with Title 132 – Integrated Solid Waste Management Regulations, Chapter 2, §002.01A. ““Fill” shall mean solid waste that consists only of one or more of the following: sand, gravel, stone, soil, rock, brick, concrete rubble, asphalt rubble, or similar material.” There should be no direct human contact, and an evaluation of potential impacts to groundwater may be required.


  • NDEE Main Line (402) 471-2186
  • NDEE Toll Free Number (877) 253-2603
  • NDEE Hazardous Waste Compliance Assistant (402) 471-8308
  • Email questions to: ndee.moreinfo@nebraska.gov

NDEE Publications:

Produced by: Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy, P.O. Box 98922, Lincoln, NE 68509-8922; phone (402) 471-2186. To view this, and other information related to our agency, visit our web site at http://dee.ne.gov.