Treated Wood

Illegal in Garbage & Drains
Hazardous Waste

As of January 1, 2021, California’s rules regarding treated wood waste were changed and are now subject to the full set of hazardous waste regulations, which includes disposal in a Class 1 hazardous waste landfill. 

Note: The Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) has indicated that the sunset of the statute and repeal of the alternative management standards for treated wood waste will significantly impact the management of treated wood waste, imposing significant additional regulatory requirements on treated wood waste which have not been required for many years. Thus DTSC intends to issue temporary variances to allow treated wood waste to continue to be managed pursuant to the alternative management standards and disposed of in composite-lined landfills.  Landfills that wish to accept treated wood waste will be required to apply for and fund a variance with DTSC.

Please call area landfills to see if they are accepting treated wood waste:

The only disposal facility in California presently authorized to receive hazardous treated wood waste is the hazardous waste landfill at the Clean Harbors Buttonwillow facility. If you plan to utilize this facility you must contact the facility in advance of shipping your waste. You should also be aware of the hazardous waste manifest and transportation requirements.

View this presentation for the variance application process: Treated Wood Waste Variance
Treated Wood Waste Variances

Management of Treated Wood Waste in California

Treated Wood Waste Frequently Asked Questions

DTSC will post an active list of the landfills that have requested a variance. Subscribe to the 2021 E-List to receive email notifications regarding DTSC’s efforts to issue variances.

More questions? Call Rizgar Ghazi, Acting Deputy Director DTSC
Phone: 916-825-3078 Email:


Never Burn Treated Wood

Chemicals such as creosote are used when treating wood, which creates toxic ash and emissions when burned. These particles lodge in soil and groundwater and take many years to break down, so never burn wood if you think it has been treated.


Take Care With Sawdust

Avoid breathing in sawdust from treated wood, and do not add it to compost or scatter on the ground.

Ways to Reduce


Choose a Different Wood

Redwood and cedar are both naturally pest-resistant. Suppliers are also starting to offer more non-toxic treated wood options.

Ways to Reuse


Repurpose for New Project

Certain types of wood products can be reused in a variety of ways. Find out how to repurpose your wood product.