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Health district offers burned debris cleanup tips

— As cleanup of the Carlton Complex fires begins, Okanogan County Public Health is offering tips to help property owners and their contractors comply with environmental regulations.

Up to 250 cubic yards of inert waste may be buried at a site without going through the process of permitting the property as an inert waste landfill.

Inert waste is cured concrete used for structural and construction; asphaltic materials used for structural and construction, except for roofing materials; brick and masonry used for structural and construction; ceramic materials produced from fire clay or porcelain; most glass, except that with significant concentrations of lead, mercury or other toxic substance; stainless steel and aluminum.

The health district recommends disposing of steel and aluminum through a metal scrapper or recycler. They should be cleaned of ash before recycling.

Such materials can be disposed of at the Okanogan County Central Landfill, or transfer stations in Twisp and on Bridgeport Bar.

Materials such as insulation, roofing materials, plaster, wood and drywall are not considered inert waste. Plaster and drywall react with water to form an alkaline leachate.

Collected ash may not be buried on site, because of similar leachate formation, the district said.

“When cleaning up large amounts of ash, it should be safely collected, bagged or otherwise secured and disposed of” at the landfill, the district said.

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