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Welcome to the Hazardous Materials and
Waste Management Division

 

Our core program areas include oversight of the management of hazardous waste, solid waste, recycling, radioactive materials, radiation-producing machines, radon outreach and site remediation.  
 

Customer Technical Assistance - phone 303-692-3320 or 
email
comments.hmwmd@state.co.us

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  • Asbestos

    Asbestos is regulated by both the Hazardous Materials and Waste Management Division and the Air Pollution Control Division.  The Air Pollution Control Division regulates inspection and assessment activities as well as the safe removal and handling of asbestos-containing materials (abatement).

    Air Pollution Control Division  

     

    The Hazardous Materials and Waste Management Division regulates the proper disposal of asbestos-containing wastes and remediation of asbestos-contaminated soils. 

    Hazardous Materials and Waste Management Division 

  • Electronics Waste

    Electronic equipment like computer monitors, central processing units (CPUs), keyboards, mice, scanners and cell phones contain a number of hazardous constituents like lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium, chromium and silver.  Many of these constituents are found on the circuit boards or in the glass.  These constituents are not a concern while the equipment is in use, but if disposed of improperly, these materials could leach out and contaminate ground water and soil.  While it has been for many years, and continues to be illegal for industry, businesses, government agencies, institutions and schools to dispose of any electronics waste that exhibits one or more characteristics of hazardous waste in municipal solid waste landfills, Senate Bill 12-133 bans landfill disposal of certain electronics waste from all sources, even residential, after July 1, 2013. 

    Electronics and Computer Waste   

  • Lead-Based Paint

    Lead-based paint is regulated by both the Hazardous Materials and Waste Management Division and the Air Pollution Control Division.  The Air Pollution Control Division regulates inspection and assessment activities as well as the safe removal and handling of lead-based paint materials (abatement). 

    Air Pollution Control Division

     

    The Hazardous Materials and Waste Management Division regulates the proper disposal of lead-based paint wastes. 

    Lead-Based Paint Abatement and Lead Waste Management Compliance Bulletin pdf file    

     

  • Medical and Pharmaceutical Wastes

    Waste medications disposed of down the drain are routed to municipal sewage treatment plants that are not designed to effectively destroy them, or are discharged directly to the environment through individual sewage disposal systems.  Other medical wastes, like syringes and blood-soaked bandages, may injure a family member, coworker or sanitation worker that comes in contact with it if the waste is not properly managed and packaged for disposal. 

    Medical / Pharmaceutical Waste   

     

  • Mercury

    Improper handling and disposl of mercury-containing materials can impact state water supplies or cause releases into the air as gas emissions.  Mercury is among a group of pollutants that do not break down or go away.  It is a potent neuortoxin that interferes with the way nerve cells function and can cause damage to the brain, kidneys and lungs.  A cross-media initiative involving both the environmental programs (air, environmental health, water and waste) and health programs within the Department is working to inform residents, businesses and the medical community about the serious threats posed by exposures to mercury.  As part of these efforts, the Hazardous Materials and Waste Management Division has developed guidance for the management of mercury-containing devices for businesses and for cleaning up small spills at a business and in the home. 

    Mercury Management  

     

  • Methamphetamine Labs

    If a methamphetamine (meth) lab is discovered by law enforcement, the bulk of lab-related debris is typically removed.  However, contamination may be left on interior surfaces like countertops, sinks and ventilation systems, and in absorbent materials like drapes, carpets and furniture.  Though often found in small concentrations, meth lab contaminants may pose health risks to susceptible persons exposed to them. 

    Meth Labs    

  • Radon

    Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that has no color, odor or taste that comes from the breakdown of uranium.  Radon is estimated to cause about 21,000 cancer deaths per year and is the seond leading cause of lung cancer in the United States.  

    Radon Outreach  

  • Waste Grease

    Transporters of waste trap grease, facilities that collect, store, process or dispose of waste grease and individuals who collect or transport waste grease for personal use must register with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

     

    Waste Grease

     

  • Waste Tires

    Haulers of waste tires and facilities that generate, collect, store, process and/or use waste tires must register with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

     

    Waste Tires

     

  • Collection Programs

    Some cities and counties conduct household hazardous waste collection events, while others sponsor permanent collection facilities or curbside pickup programs.  These programs are limited to residents of the city or county that sponsors them. 

    Collection Programs  

  • Recycling Options

    Recycling may be an option for some household wastes.  There are many residential recycling drop-off centers throughout the state for commonly recycled household materials.  There are also some that collect specialized wastes like electronics and computers. 

    Recycling Options    

     

  • Other Disposal Options

    In areas where a household collection program or recycling options are not available, most household wastes can be treated in some way to make them safer for disposal. 

    Other Options  

     

  • Overview

    As people become more aware of environmental issues, some look for alternatives to landfill disposal for some or all of their household wastes.  As demand grows, so do the options for managing household wastes. 

    Household Waste Management

  • Apply to All

    Some guidance and policies are not specific to any one of the regulatory programs within the Division, but apply to multiple programs. 

    Guidance and Policy  

       

  • Brownfields and Voluntary Cleanup

    Old industrial and commercial facilities may sit unused because of real or perceived contamination issues.  These sites can hinder economic and community development until they are cleaned up to a level that adequately protects human health and the environment based on the site's contaminant levels and proposed future land use.  the Division has developed guidance to explain the voluntary cleanup process and resources available to assist in these efforts. 

    Guidance and Policy   

     

  • Hazardous Waste

    A hazardous waste is a solid waste that could pose significant dangers to human health and the environment if it is treated, stored, transported or disposed of improperly.  To minimize that possibility, the Division has developed guidance for entities that generate, transport, store, treat, dispose or otherwise manage hazardous waste.  Guidance has also been developed to assist with cleanup of sites contaminated with hazardous materials. 

    Guidance and Policy  

  • Radioactive Materials and X-Ray / Mammography

    A person is constantly exposed to ionizing radiation from several sources including naturally occuring radon emanating from the earth, cosmic radiation originating in space, the use of x-rays and radioactive materials in medicine and dentistry, and for some, occupational exposure to radiation or radioactive materials.  The Division has developed guidance for the licensing of radioactive materials, occupational exposure prevention, maintenance and operation of radiation-producing equipment and reducing radon in the home. 

    Guidance and Policy  

  • Solid Waste and Materials Management

    Solid waste includes non-hazardous solid, liquid, semisolid or contained gaseous materials resulting from a wide variety of industrial and commercial operations and community activities.  The Division has developed guidance for solid waste sites and facilities as well as entities that generate and/or manage certain types of solid waste like waste tires. 

    Guidance and Policy  

  • Environmental Cleanup and Remediation

    There are many sites in Colorado that have contaminated soil and/or groundwater due to current or past business activities. The Hazardous Materials and Waste Management Division is largely responsible for ensuring proper cleanup of these sites. One of the programs within this division will oversee cleanup, depending on the nature of the release and when the release occurred.

     

    Environmental Cleanup and Remediation

     

  • Brownfields

    Old industrial and commercial facilities may sit unused because of real or perceived contamination issues.  These sites can hinder economic and community development until they are cleaned up to a level that adequately protects human health and the environment based on the site's contaminant levels and proposed future land use.  Forms are available to help access resources available to assist in these efforts. 

    Forms and Applications  

     

  • Hazardous Waste

    A hazardous waste is a solid waste that could pose significant dangers to human health and the environment if it is treated, stored, transported or disposed of improperly.  Forms are available for notification of hazardous waste activity, self-certification, biennial and annual activity reporting (when due) and process templates. 

    Forms and Applications  

  • Radioactive Materials and X-Ray / Mammography

    A person is constantly exposed to ionizing radiation from several sources including naturally occuring radon emanating from the earth, cosmic radiation originating in space, the use of x-rays and radioactive materials in medicine and dentistry, and for some, occupational exposure to radiation or radioactive materials.  Forms are avalable for radioactive materials licensing, radiation-producing machine machine registration, machine operator registration, service company resgistration and related activities. 

    Forms and Applications   

  • Solid Waste and Materials Management

    Solid waste includes non-hazardous solid, liquid, semisolid and contained gaseous materials resulting from a wide variety of industrial and commercial operations and community activities.  Forms are provided for quarterly and annual reporting, facility registration, specialty manifests, financial assurance and notification. 

    Forms and Applications  

  • Narrative Descriptions

    Narrative descriptions of permits, licenses, notifications, registrations and certifications required by the hazardous waste, solid waste and radiation programs.  These summaries include information on who must apply, how to apply, associated fees, the public participation process and other relevant information. 

    Narrative Descriptions  

     

  • Forms and Applications

    The process to obtain a permit, license, registration or certification, or to provide activity notification, generally begins with completion and submittal of the correct form.