C & D vs. MSW – What IS the difference anyway??

C & D vs. MSW – What IS the difference anyway??

Unless you work or have worked in the waste industry in some capacity at some point in your career, you probably have no idea what the acronyms, C & D or MSW mean. JME would like to help you better understand this “mess”.

When most people discard something they just consider it to be trash. Well, believe it or not, there are different classifications of that “trash” and there are rules governing the different types of “trash” that determine what waste processors must do when processing or sending that discarded item to its final resting place.

C & D
Construction and demolition debris, C & D for short, is debris that is generated from the construction of a new building or a remodeling project. It is also the debris that is generated when an existing structure is being demolished. This type of waste is considered “clean” waste when it does not contain anything hazardous, or anything that would be considered “household waste” such as food material, clothing, plastic chemical bottles, wrappers and the like. C & D waste is considered a lesser threat to the environment than other types of waste so C & D while it is regulated by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), is not as heavily regulated as industrial, MSW or hazardous waste. The materials that are not pulled out from this waste stream for recycling, such as wood, metal, clean cardboard and in some cases carpet and shingles, is disposed of in a landfill that has received the proper certification by the MPCA. There are different classifications for C & D landfills in Minnesota. Class I, Class II and Class III. While all of these classes of C & D landfill can accept C & D, each follow a different set of guidelines as to what materials they can accept. The permit issued to each landfill would give specifics as to what that particular facility can accept. The Minnesota Department of Revenue charges a tax or fee on generators of C & D at a rate of $2.00 / ton or $0.60 / yard. Some municipalities also charge their own taxes and fees on generators of C & D. These fees vary throughout the state.

Mixed Municipal Solid Waste commonly referred to as MMSW or MSW is garbage, refuse and other solid waste from residential, commercial, industrial and community activities. This would be the kind of debris that you would put in your home or office garbage can. MSW must be disposed of in a sanitary landfill or other facility that is properly permitted by the MPCA. MSW is considered more of a threat to the environment so the waste facilities are more heavily regulated and the waste is more heavily taxed. Not only does the Minnesota Department of Revenue assess a tax of 17% on commercial generators and 9.75% on residential generators, many municipalities in the state of Minnesota also charge their own taxes. These taxes can range anywhere from 5% upwards of 50% depending on the municipality.

There are two other types of waste you should be aware of: Industrial Waste and Hazardous Waste. Industrial waste is the waste produced by industrial activity which includes any material that is rendered useless during a manufacturing process such as that of factories, mills and mines.

Examples of Industrial Waste would be: Asbestos, treated wood and non-hazardous paint blasting residue and waste generated from manufacturing facilities. Industrial waste can only be disposed of in an appropriately permitted industrial landfill or other approved facility.

Hazardous waste is any type of waste material that may pose a substantial present or potential hazard to human health or the environment. Examples of hazardous waste would be: mercury, lead, batteries, many cleaners and solvents. Hazardous waste may only be handled by transporters and facilities approved by the MPCA and Mn/DOT to handle such waste.

JME Dispatchers understand waste well! Have questions about what can be disposed of in a roll off dumpster? Give us a call 763-295-3122 we would be happy to help!