Guidance for Cleanup Following Tornadoes
and Severe Storms
Clean-up after a tornado or storm event that has caused severe damage may be achieved by addressing this situation under the permit exception located in Title 132 – Integrated Solid Waste Management Regulations, Chapter 2, §002. When cleaning up after a situation such as this, the best approach is to assess the types of waste you are dealing with, and what the disposal procedures should be. They fall into four main categories and can be disposed of in the following ways:
- Branches, Trees and vegetative wastes can be separated from the other debris and later can be sent to the community burn pile. These wastes can also be sent to a permitted disposal site.
- Construction Debris – the structural material from houses and buildings, such as concrete, boards, shingles, windows, siding, pipes, etc. – can be taken to the closest Construction and Demolition (C&D) landfill or a permitted municipal solid waste landfill. The waste may also be separated and used as “Fill” as described in Title 132, Chapter 1 and Chapter 2, §002. To determine the locations of nearby C&D landfills, contact the Department of Environment and Energy (NDEE) Waste Management Section at (402) 471-4210. This information is also available on the department website.
- Appliances, such as washers, dryers, water heaters, heat pumps, air conditioners, refrigerators and freezers are banned from landfill disposal in Nebraska. NDEE recommends that they be recycled with special consideration given to those appliances that still have intact refrigeration containing chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). If recycling is not an option many landfills will accept junk appliance for a fee; they are then sequestered on site until they can be recycled in bulk at a later date.
- Other household wastes, such as trash and furniture, should be sent to a permitted Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) landfill.
- Hazardous wastes – If you believe the waste contains regulated hazardous materials, more care and caution is needed. Regulations for the handling and disposal of Hazardous Materials can be found in Nebraska Title 128 – Nebraska Hazardous Waste Regulations. These wastes should be containerized, labeled, and ultimately sent to a facility that is permitted to store, treat or dispose of hazardous wastes. In these instances, it is important to contact the department to discuss proper disposal procedures. NDEE can be reached at (402) 471-2186 during regular hours, and at (402) 471-4545 after hours. Tracking would be required for these wastes. If it appears that there has been a spill involving potentially hazardous wastes, it is important to immediately contact NDEE or other emergency response personnel on site and apprise them of the situation.
Each disposal situation has unique characteristics, and NDEE is available to provide assistance and advice on these issues. If you have any questions, contact NDEE at one of the numbers listed below.
- NDEE Waste Management Section (402) 471-4210
- NDEE Toll Free Number (877) 253-2603
- NDEE Hazardous Waste Compliance Assistant (402) 471-8308
- Email questions to: NDEE.firstname.lastname@example.org
- Environmental Guidance Document – Disposal Procedures for Treated Wood
- Environmental Guidance Document – CFCs and Household Appliances/Vending Machines
- Environmental Guidance Document – Construction and Demolition Waste in Nebraska
- Environmental Guidance Document – Natural Disaster Debris Management
- Environmental Guidance Document – Treated Wood Disposal Procedures
Guidance is available on the NDEE Home Page under “Publications & Forms”
- Title 128 – Nebraska Hazardous Waste Regulations
- Title 132 – Integrated Solid Waste Management Regulations
Titles are available on the NDEE Home Page under “Laws/Regs & EQC”, “Rules & Regulations”
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.