Asbestos Disposal


Example of friable asbestos pipe insulation (sample contains 14% chrysotile and 12% amosite asbestos). Unauthorized persons are prohibited by law from disturbing asbestos containing materials (ACM). All asbestos waste generated on campus must be properly contained, labeled and disposed at a licensed landfill.

Standard ACM Placard
Friable asbestos thermal system insulation
Click on thumbnail for larger image of "mag" pipe insulation.

At UWM, contact Robert Grieshaber, Industrial Hygiene Specialist, at x4576 for procedures and instructions on safe and legal asbestos containing material waste disposal.


Some common Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) include:

  • Thermal System Insulation (TSI) (e.g., pipe insulation)
  • Surfacing material on walls or ceilings
  • Textured surfacing material
  • Acoustical material
  • Transite panels (e.g., garage door panels, fume hood walls, fire walls, etc.)
  • Electrical insulation
  • Fire-proofing material
  • Fire-protective clothing
  • Fire-rated asbestos core doors
  • Fire-stop material and fire-resistant drywall
  • Thermal laboratory gloves and clothing
  • Floor tile (especially 9-inch tile) and tile mastic
  • Vinyl sheet flooring
  • Personal hair dryers (insulating material)
  • Heating pads
  • Siding, Roofing Paper, Shingles and Adhesives
  • Theatrical lamps (insulation)
  • Theatrical (fire) curtains
  • Brake pads / Clutch disks
  • Roofing shingles and adhesives
  • Some varieties of ceiling tile
  • Some plasters
  • Some cements
  • Some spackling compounds
  • Asbestos cement pipe

Also see Asbestos Containing Material Image Page.

For more detailed information about asbestos, please see:


DNR Factsheet on Asbestos Disposal:

This information based on DNR's "Asbestos Disposal Factsheet," prepared by the Solid Waste Program, Bureau of Waste Management, DNR (v. 11/1996).


Types of Asbestos:

Proper management of asbestos containing material (ACM) depends on whether it is friable or nonfriable; if nonfriable, whether it is category I or II; & if category I, whether it is a construction & demolition (C&D) material. Definitions of asbestos types are provided below.

Category I nonfriable ACM:

"Category I nonfriable ACM" is defined as "...packings, gaskets, resilient floor covering & asphalt roofing...containing...asbestos...that...cannot be crumbled...to powder by hand pressure." Category I ACM is pliable (not brittle), breaks by tearing rather than fracturing, and does not easily release asbestos fibers upon breaking. Example of Category I material at UWM might include plywood covered with asbestos mastic (tile adhesive).
Example of Category I ACM
Example of a Category I waste: ACM mastic on plywood.

Category II nonfriable ACM:

"Category II nonfriable ACM" is defined as "any material, excluding category I nonfriable ACM, containing...asbestos...that...cannot be crumbled...to powder by hand pressure." This includes rigid exterior siding & boards known by the trade name "transite". Category II ACM is not pliable, breaks by fracturing rather than tearing, and does release some asbestos fiber release upon breaking. Examples of Category II material at UWM may include transite board, transite acoustical panels, and transite lab benches. At UWM, we generally treat vinyl asbestos floor tile as Category II waste even though, by definition, it may be considered a Category I waste.

Example of Category II ACM
Example of a Category II waste: ACM lab bench top (transite). Category II waste must be wetted, containerized, and labeled prior to disposal. The small sample on top is from a stone lab bench.

Friable ACM

"Friable ACM" is defined as "any material containing...asbestos... that...can be crumbled...to a powder by hand pressure." Friable ACM has little structural strength and contains asbestos fibers which are readily released upon breaking. Common types of friable ACM at UWM may include pipe or thermal system insulation (TSI), sprayed-on insulation, some wall/ceiling/acoustical plasters, some ceiling tiles, thermal protective clothing, etc.

The actual state of materials may vary, so the definition of "friable" must be referred to when classifying materials. Also, nonfriable materials may become friable during grinding, cutting, burning, crushing, and similar operations, including some types of building demolition which may generate and release asbestos fibers.


Regulatory Program Authority:

Three different state regulatory programs have authority over ACM removal, transport and disposal.

Removal of ACM is regulated by:

  • Wisconsin Department of Health & Family Services (DHFS), Division of Health.
  • Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Air Management Program.

Transportation & disposal of ACM is regulated by:

Division of Health administers training and certification programs for inspectors and contractors performing ACM removal. Detailed information about these requirements is not provided in this factsheet. Contact DHFS for additional information.

Air Management Program regulates friable ACM, & category I & II nonfriable ACM if it becomes friable. Air Management must be contacted if friable or nonfriable ACM removal is being considered, or if any building will be demolished. Contact DNR for additional information.

Solid Waste Program regulates transport and disposal of solid wastes, including any construction and demolition (C&D) material & any ACM for disposal. Contact DNR for additional information.


Regulatory Requirements for Disposal:

The DNR factsheet only summarizes the requirements; it does not replace the rules regulating ACM or construction and demolition (C& D) materials:

Removal and packaging procedures to prevent asbestos fiber emission are prescribed:

  • Friable ACM must always be removed before demolition, and wetted and placed immediately into leak tight containers or bags.
  • Category II ACM must usually be removed before demolition, and wetted as needed to prevent dusting and placed in covered containers.
  • Category I ACM must be removed before building demolition if the ACM has or will become friable.

The DNR Air Management program must be notified for all building demolitions (whether or not any ACM is present). Both DHFS and DNR must be notified for all required ACM removal of at least 260 linear feet, 160 square feet or 35 cubic feet. When required, building demolition notice or ACM removal notice must be made at least 10 business days before the demolition or removal occurs.

Transport of all solid wastes must be by a licensed solid waste transporter. No other transport license is needed for ACM in Wisconsin. ACM can only be transported to proper disposal locations. All ACM must be transported to prevent any visible emission of dust from the load, & the following procedures must be met for the ACM type specified:

  • Friable ACM must be wetted and bagged prior to transport.
  • Category II ACM may be transported in bulk containers, but must be wetted as needed to control dust, and containers must be covered to prevent spilling and dusting.
  • Category I ACM may be in bulk containers, but covers must be used to prevent spilling. Wetting is not required to prevent asbestos emissions during transport.

Disposal requirements for ACM are as follows:

Category I ACM which is not a C&D material, all friable ACM and all category II ACM must be disposed at an approved landfill engineered with a liner and leachate collection, and the landfill must be specifically approved to accept asbestos. On a case by case basis, the Solid Waste Program may approve disposal of these ACM materials at other landfills, if the landfill operational practices will be consistent with the ACM disposal requirements in s. NR 506.10 (2), Wis. Adm. Code:

  • Dispose in a trench excavated into existing refuse and cover with at least 3 feet of non-asbestos waste or soil prior to compaction.
  • Record each disposal location by vertical and horizontal coordinates.
  • Do not dispose within previous ACM disposal areas or in locations proposed for future construction of landfill components, such as leachate headwells or gas extraction wells.
  • Category I ACM which is C&D material may be disposed at an approved C&D landfill, including an approved one time disposal landfill, or at any other landfill with a plan of operation approved under s. 144.44 (3), Stats. No special operational requirements apply to disposal of category I ACM.
  • Burning is prohibited for all types of ACM.

Please Note:

DOA-DSF Rationale on Category I non-friable Material, general statement for Capital Renewal Projects:

All caulking, sealants, glazing compounds, gaskets, asphalt roofing materials and miscellaneous adhesives are assumed to contain asbestos and are considered to be Category I non-friable asbestos containing material (ACM) as defined in NR 447. Category I non-friable ACM, which is construction and demolition waste, may be disposed at an approved construction and demolition landfill. If contractors demolition methods cause Category I non-friable ACM to become friable, the contractor is responsible for the disposal of the friable asbestos waste at a landfill specifically approved to accept asbestos. A copy of the signed waste manifest for the disposal of all friable asbestos waste shall be provided to DSF prior to final payment.

(June 2005)


For any other questions regarding asbestos, please call Robert Grieshaber at x4576 or e-mail at rjg@uwm.edu. Questions regarding asbestos other than at UWM should be directed to your local health or building department. Many private laboratories in the Milwaukee area also provide asbestos testing services.


Updated October 2, 2007