How to Dispose of Vermiculite

Overview

Vermiculite is a mineral that is mainly used in the gardening and construction worlds. When disturbed, vermiculite releases asbestos fibers that float around in the air and can harm the human lungs and body, possibly even causing cancer after extended exposure. Because of these dangers, it is important to act carefully and follow regulations when disposing of vermiculite.

Step 1

Obtain information from you local authorities on proper waste removal of toxic substances such as vermiculite. These protocols can range greatly depending on your city regulations.

Step 2

Wear safety goggles, a respiratory mask, long sleeves, pants, sturdy work shoes and gloves when disposing of vermiculite.

Step 3

Spray water onto the vermiculite with a spray bottle to help keep loose fibers from floating around as much as possible.

Step 4

Carefully remove the moist vermiculite and put it into sealable bags, packing it in as tightly as possible but without squishing it down. Seal each bag once it is packed. Remove as much of the vermiculite as possible.

Step 5

Mark the bags "Toxic" or "Warning" with the permanent marker. Keep in mind that the local authorities may have regulations for bagging, marking and disposing of the vermiculite.

Step 6

Scoop up any excess vermiculite fibers from the ground, or mop them up with a wet cloth.

Step 7

Dispose of the bags of vermiculite according to local regulations. This may involve taking the bags to the dump or another specified waste location.

Things You'll Need

  • Sealable impermeable bags
  • Warning labels
  • Permanent marker
  • Safety goggles
  • Respiratory masks
  • Heavy-duty work gloves
  • Protective clothing

References

  • Courier Press: Dispose of Vermiculite With Care
  • CDC: NIOSH Recommendations for Limiting Potential Exposures of Workers to Asbestos Associated with Vermiculite from Libby, Montana
  • The Shundler Company: Material Safety Data Sheet--Vermiculite
Keywords: eliminating vermiculite, asbestos removal, vermiculite disposal

About this Author

Lauren Wise has more than eight years' experience as a writer, editor, copywriter and columnist. She specializes in food, wine, music and pop culture. Her writing has appeared in various magazines, including "Runway," "A2Z," "Scottsdale Luxury Living" and "True West." Wise holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Arizona State University.