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Creosote and chimney soot disposal

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by jeffman3, Jan 28, 2009.

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  1. jeffman3

    jeffman3 New Member

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    I am exploring the business viability of a chimney sweep business in my area, and have some questions about creosote and chimney soot disposal. Is this material considered Haz Mat, any disposal pitfalls I should be aware of?

    I want to cover all my bases before I drop the money for study materials, and testing for CSIA cert, and credentialing, as well as the equipment, and supplies, that would be needed to run such a business.

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  2. jeffman3

    jeffman3 New Member

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    Nobody willing to chime in? That's unusual for this group. I think this is the first post I have ever made that didn't get a response.
  3. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Theres nothing in the soot and creo that wasn't in the wood to begin with. Maybe a little different make up after it was burned. Dumpster disposal is what my sweep uses. Actually, the last time he swept mine, he used my dumpster.
  4. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    Drop chimneysweep a PM, I bet he could give you some pointers.
  5. Peter B.

    Peter B. Feeling the Heat

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    Surprisingly, it seems difficult to find good information about creosote from wood burning on the web. Most references are only for the liquid forms... and coal tar creosote and wood creosote are often confused.

    I've never thought of creosote as 'benign'... figured it was at least mildly toxic... but recently, I found a few references to creosote (made from Beech wood) that was used for medicinal purposes.

    I expect the type you'd most often have any need to dispose of would be the 'chunky' type... and I'd think there'd be an agency (EPA? OSHA?) you could contact to give you the low down on how to deal with it properly.

    I burn mine on a hot fire with a catalyst. Good fuel.

    Peter B.

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  6. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    Actually, while elementally it cannot vary much from what was in the wood (can combine with material from air), the tar compounds are very different from the compounds in wood. Some are considered hazardous, but I don't know how the law treats them. There are combustor systems that will run on the material- maybe you could find someone to take it free as a fuel.
  7. savageactor7

    savageactor7 Minister of Fire

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    We throw ours in the garden...I suppose you can suggest that to your customers.
  8. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    I would not suggest putting it in a garden. Ash, yes, creosote, no. We've been around on this one, so we can leave it at that.
  9. JustWood

    JustWood Minister of Fire

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    This is from NYSDEC website.

    Household Waste

    "Household solid waste containing creosote or creosote-containing products, such as railroad ties can be disposed of as household waste or as C&D;debris. Liquid products containing creosote (i.e., paints, coatings) can be brought to Household Hazardous Waste collection events or facilities. Wood treated with creosote shall not be burned in fireplaces, stoves, outdoor wood-fired boilers or open fires."
  10. Peter B.

    Peter B. Feeling the Heat

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    This is almost certainly a reference to coal tar creosote (which is likely more toxic than wood creosote). They're two different animals, though chemically (somewhat) similar.

    Peter B.

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  11. JustWood

    JustWood Minister of Fire

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    Then I think it's safe to say that chimney creosote (wood) can be disposed of in the trash if need be.
  12. jeffman3

    jeffman3 New Member

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    I have a call in to the solid waste guy at the state level. I hope to here from him in the next day or two, or I will be calling him back. I have not found a reason not to pursue this business, but I want to explore all the potential pitfalls, before I drop the money on study materials, and testing, yet alone the tool up involved. Several thousand in all, if my info is right. Maybe less, depending on several variables, that have yet to come to fruition.
  13. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    I don't remember this. Enlighten me a bit here Adios.

    We've put it on the garden for years. House plants also like some creosote!
  14. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Jeff, it appears you have a business! We wish you all the luck in the world. Go for it!
  15. Peter B.

    Peter B. Feeling the Heat

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    Well, Sir...

    If you can't tell the difference, you're in worse trouble than I am.

    Peter B.

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  16. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    No offense to your experience as you could have lots, I just don't know that. Based on asking this creosote question, I would assume that you only have experience sweeping your own chimney. The chimney sweeps that I am familiar with are typically also masons and have worked as apprentices to gain the experience to really give people peace of mind that their chimney is not just clean but also structurally sound and safe for continued use.

    Along with this point, make for certain that you are covered out the @$$ in terms of insurance. With this job, not only do you need liability insurance for the guy who is going to sue you because his house burns down from a chimney fire, but will blame you for damage to his roof when you put your foot through a roof you are not warned about being rotten, break a shingle, knock of the top 1/2 of the chimney over, etc, etc.

    Along with all of these liability issues also comes the great need for personal disability insurance.

    Again, I do not mean to be insulting your intelligence here, just want to make certain that you know what you are getting into.

    pen
  17. jeffman3

    jeffman3 New Member

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    I am doing my due diligence now. I have talked to the CSIA, about the requirements, and testing arrangement,to be certified and credentialed. I have also talked to my insurance agent about a $1,000,000 blanket liability policy, he tried to talk me into less, I said no, I want at least $1,000,000 before I step onto someones roof. I have talked to about half of the credentialed sweeps in Nebraska (all on the other end of the state, there are no credentialed sweeps within 200+ miles), about the business end of things, as well as the job itself. In regards to repair work, I am not a mason, I don't want to be a mason, and I will refer repair work that I am not comfortable doing, to others that are. I would love to apprentice with a credentialed sweep, but there are none on my end of the state. There is a huge void in the market here. I am looking into what I need to due, to fill that void, provide a much needed service, learn a hell of a lot about I subject that I am interested in, and maybe put some coin in my own pocket along the way.

    Thank you for your concern.
  18. jeffman3

    jeffman3 New Member

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    For those interested, I got a call back from the state guy, and dumpster disposal of chimney soot is not a problem Nebraska. I just thought it best to cover all my bases before I jump, still exploring potential pit-falls etc..., and looking into grants for educational and start up expenses.
  19. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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  20. WoodMann

    WoodMann Minister of Fire

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    Hmm- I always just spread it around outside under the trees. BTW- it was Duke Nuke'em that said,"your face, your ass- what's the difference"...................
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