The Care & Feeding of Your Home: Captain Metro vs Evil Asbestos

By Handyman Bob Stronghandymanbob_logo-8x6

If you plan to do any significant home improvement projects, this on-going saga is something you need to read.

When last we heard from our hero, Captain Metro, he was battling the evil forces of Asbestos by setting in place information for all Metro transfer station customers. And, it worked – sort of.

But, there was confusion among the various customers. They didn’t know where to look for Asbestos. They didn’t know what to have tested by the laboratory. So, Metro re-wrote the information and in early March published it once again on their website,

Now, all Residential DIY-remodelers (think homeowner) and all contractors, along with commercial waste haulers, have a very clear set of guidelines to follow. Failure to follow these guidelines will likely result in your load being rejected by the bay spotter and you’ll end up going back home with your truck or trailer still full of debris.

Loads of construction, remodeling and demolition debris brought to Metro transfer stations by residential DIY-remodelers will be thoroughly screened for materials that may contain asbestos.

Analytical test results certifying all tested sample results contain 1 percent or less asbestos by weight are required for the following items:

  • Flooring: vinyl tiles, vinyl sheet, cove base molding, mastic
  • Walls: plaster, decorative plaster, including stucco, but not sheetrock or drywall
  • Siding: cement siding shingles (e.g., “Transite”)
  • Ceilings: acoustical tiles, “popcorn” and spray-on texture)
  • Insulation: spray-applied, blown-in, vermiculite, pipe, HVAC and lagging)
  • Electrical: wire insulation, panel partitions
  • Other: fire doors, fire brick, fire proofing

Metro reserves the right to request analytical test results for other materials not listed above.

If you are a residential DIY remodeler, take these steps to prepare your load of construction waste for delivery to a Metro transfer station:

  • Use an accredited asbestos inspector to survey your project for materials that may contain asbestos.
  • Have any suspect materials tested by an analytical laboratory.
  • Bring test results with your load to a Metro transfer station to show it contains 1 percent or less asbestos by weight.

Ask Metro about requirements, materials accepted, and fees at Metro transfer stations by calling 503-234-3000. And, don’t be surprised if your contractor isn’t familiar with current guidelines. This was not well publicized and I’m hearing from people every week who have had loads turned away. But, now you know and can help get the word out.

Handyman Bob offers home improvement advice on his radio show, Around The House, every Saturday from noon to 2 on FM News 101 KXL. He is also a licensed general contractor and Certified Asbestos Building Inspector. Questions?