New York University Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Navigation Skip to Sub Navigation

Renovation and Demolition Waste

A demolition or renovation waste is a waste which is left behind in an area due for renovation or is produced due to renovation of an area, and which has the potential to be hazardous to human health or the environment. Such wastes need to be disposed of through Environmental Health and Safety. Examples of such materials are listed below along with instructions for handling, labeling and disposing of them.

It is important that the Office of Construction Management (OCM) Project Manager responsible for the renovation or construction project estimates, to the extent possible, the types and quantities of hazardous wastes that may be result from each project, and notifies Environmental Health and Safety in advance. For assistance in making a waste determination, please call Environmental Health and Safety at 998-1450 or consult the Demolition/Renovation Waste Quick Tip (PDF).

In the case of laboratory renovations, it is important that the laboratory be left in a clean and safe condition for construction crews or the next occupants. Unwanted or abandoned chemicals must be disposed of through Environmental Health and Safety prior to the beginning of the work. For more information and guidelines on cleaning out laboratories, please go to the Lab Cleanouts page.

Sink Traps

Do not dispose of sink traps with the regular trash or construction debris. Sink traps must be collected and a hazardous waste assessment conducted prior to disposal.

A notification must be made to Environmental Health and Safety prior to the removal of any laboratory sink traps, since hazardous chemicals, such as mercury, may have accumulated in the traps over time. Notification in advance will allow Environmental Health and Safety to provide appropriate containers to the contractors prior to removal, and to arrange for any required testing or disposal.

Lead

Lead can exist in many areas within a building and may be uncovered or disturbed during demolition or renovation projects. In the past, lead was frequently used in construction materials such as sheet metal, mortar, support rods, electrical conduits and piping. Lead was also added to paint due to its resistance to corrosion. The use of lead in most of these applications has now been banned, but lead materials may still be present in older buildings. Lead is also used as a barrier in walls and doors in areas where X-ray equipment is used.

Lead has been recognized as a health hazard to those exposed to high levels, particularly young and unborn children. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has passed legislation (the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act, Title X, of 1992 and 40 CFR 745) intended to protect children from exposure to lead-based paint in housing. Local Law 1 of 2004, of the City of New York, is the local governing law pertaining to the prevention of lead poisoning. In addition, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) passed legislation to protect construction workers who may be exposed to airborne lead (29 CFR 1926.26).

To request a lead investigation please click here (PDF).

Academic and Commercial Buildings

Construction workers and plumbers are at risk or exposure to lead when their work involves the alteration, repair or renovation of a structure that may contain lead materials. A notification must be made to Environmental Health and Safety prior to the removal of any such materials. Do not dispose of lead materials as regular trash or construction debris.

Lead based paint (LBP) abatement is not required by regulations for non-residential buildings. The OSHA Lead in Construction standard (29 CFR 1926.26) requires that construction/renovation/demolition contractors follow the standard of assessment and protection of employees. OCM and FCM may have projects requiring LBP investigation and abatement in non-residential facilities.

Residential Buildings

Lead-based paint that is in poor condition is known to be a potential health hazard. The Lead Program Manual (PDF) provides guidelines for reporting potential lead-based paint hazards in University buildings (Academic and Residential) and provides guidelines and work practices to minimize exposure to lead-containing dust.

New York City Local Law 1 is a comprehensive law concerning the prevention of childhood lead poisoning through the remediation of lead paint hazards in housing and day care facilities. The law covers all pre-1960 multiple dwellings. The law also places certain responsibilities on owners in post-1960 to pre-1978 buildings where the owner knows there is lead based paint. NYU owns buildings that fall into this category and therefore, must follow NYU Local Law 1 rules. For more detail regarding Local Law 1 rules please click on the link below.

NYC Department of Preservation and Housing

NYC Department of Mental Health and Hygiene

NYC Local Law 1 Information for Tenants
In English (PDF)
In Spanish (PDF)

EPA Lead Pamphlet Protect Your Family (PDF)

Proteja a Su Familia Contra el Plomo en el Hogar (PDF)

EPA Certification

Quick Links

Old building
NYU Footer