Regulatory Status of Waste Generated by Contractors and Residents from Lead-Based Paint Activities Conducted in Households (August 2000)

Agency Policy

Aiming to further reduce lead poisoning in children, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has clarified that contractors can manage residential lead-based paint (LBP) waste as household waste. Allowing LBP waste to be managed this way makes it more affordable for people to reduce lead in and around their homes.

Contractor Waste

EPA's policy statement allows contractor-generated LBP waste to be disposed of as household waste. Household waste is regular garbage or trash that is disposed of as municipal waste, and managed according to state and local requirements. Residents are already entitled to manage their own LBP waste in this manner. Extending this option to contractors simplifies abatement work and lowers its cost, which will allow more lead paint removal from more homes nationwide. Consequently, people's homes everywhere will be safer for both children and adults.

Safe Handling

EPA encourages everyone who handles lead-based paint to follow several common sense measures:

  • Collect paint chips, dust, dirt, and rubble in plastic trash bags for disposal.
  • Store larger LBP building parts in containers until ready for disposal.
  • If possible, use a covered mobile dumpster (such as a roll-off container) to store LBP debris until the job is done.
  • Contact local solid waste authorities to determine where and how LBP debris can be disposed of.

The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) contains training and certification requirements that contractors also should learn and follow. These requirements are under TSCA 402/404, and can be found here. Note also that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) established guidelines for contractors performing lead-based paint activities.

Proposed TSCA Standards

In 1998, the Agency proposed new standards under TSCA that would have replaced existing Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) hazardous waste regulations covering the disposal of LBP. Subsequently, on July 31, 2000, the Agency clarified (PDF) that abatement wastes from homes are household wastes and, as such, excluded from the RCRA Subtitle C hazardous waste regulations. Consequently, the proposed action was no longer considered a necessary measure to promote LBP abatement activities.

RCRA Amendment

On June 8, 2003, EPA issued a final rule to help accelerate the pace of lead-based paint removal from residences, and thereby reduce exposure to children and adults from the health risks associated with lead, This final rule expressly allows residential lead-based paint waste to be disposed of in construction and demolition (C&D) landfills. Thus, residential lead-based paint waste may be disposed of in a C&D landfill or a municipal solid waste landfill.

For More Information

For general information on lead-based paint and lead-based paint hazards, call the National Lead Information Center at 1-800-424 LEAD (5323). You may also obtain information by calling the RCRA Hotline. Callers within the Washington Metropolitan Area must dial 703-412-9810 or TDD 703-412-3323 (hearing impaired). Long-distance callers may call 1-800-424- 9346 or TDD 1-800-553-7672. The RCRA Hotline operates weekdays, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Write to the RCRA Information Center (5305W), US EPA, Ariel Rios Building, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20460.

EPA Memorandum: Regulatory Status of Waste Generated by Contractors and Residents from Lead-Based Paint Activities Conducted in Households - signed July 31, 2000 (PDF)

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