Disadvantages of Disposing of Mobile Homes in Landfills
There are many disadvantages to disposing of an entire mobile home by just dropping it off at a landfill. First, you need to think about the cost of driving to and from a landfill or the cost of hiring an experienced home transporter. You need to make sure the transport company has the proper permits for moving the mobile home, as well as enough experience to perform the task well. In addition, there is also a disposal fee charged by the landfill, which varies by location and can be quite costly.
Another problem with disposing of a mobile home at a landfill is that there are a large number of landfills which will not accept whole mobile homes, so you may have to go some distance to find one that does. Check with your local waste disposal company and government agencies to understand the laws and implications of mobile home disposal. In addition to the costs of disposing properly of a mobile home, there are penalties imposed by the state if a mobile home is left in poor repair, abandoned, or illegally disposed of.
Before disposal, a mobile home owner must remove all hazardous materials including propane tanks, appliances with refrigerants, and have a landfill staff inspector approve before it will be accepted. They must also be prepared to answer questions about the condition of the trailer such as whether or not it was in a fire, abandoned, condemned, has asbestos materials, and more. No matter how you look at it, disposing of a mobile home can be a troublesome task.
Before you get discouraged, take a minute to consider an alternative. When mobile home owners choose to drop off the mobile home at a landfill, there is a lot of waste created and an incredible loss of recyclable, re-sellable and reusable materials that could have been salvaged before disposal. There is a better way that is good for the environment, reuses and recycles mobile home materials, and provides economic opportunity for the community. The answer is to deconstruct and salvage materials from your mobile home before disposal.
The Advantages of Salvaging a Mobile Home
With so much waste and concern about filling up landfills, a number of states have begun programs to salvage mobile homes before disposing of them. This practice is desirable because it is an environmentally sound waste management program that conserves natural resources, enhances blighted areas, and creates an option other than mismanagement and abandonment of old mobile homes. Mobile home salvage programs also create economic opportunities for local businesses, recycling plants, and day laborers.
The feasibility of salvaging and reusing mobile homes was studied in the state of Vermont and published by the City of Bristol in 2000 in cooperation with the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources Waste Management Division and the Manufactured Housing Institute of Arlington Virginia. Their study, entitled “A Feasibility Study of Mobile Home Recycling” showed that the process was easily doable, not too expensive, and provided jobs and economic opportunity for the community where it is performed. By encouraging the development and advertising of mobile home salvage yards, a state can cut back on the wasteful disposal of valuable items that can be salvaged from a damaged or old mobile home and provide economic opportunities for its citizens.
When a program for salvaging and recycling mobile homes is undertaken, persons who are looking to remodel their current mobile homes can find valuable cabinets, appliances, faucets and sinks, bathroom fixtures, furniture, carpeting and more for much less cost than purchasing new. Builders can access valuable construction materials such as floor and roofing joists, insulation, roofing, interior and exteriors doors, and more. HVAC professionals can purchase used furnaces, air conditioning units, and sheet metal for use in other customer’s mobile homes. Electricians can benefit from accessing electric panels, fuse boxes, wiring and more. Large machinery companies can obtain a new client, as large machinery is needed for stability in the final stages of disassembly and hauling.
The other advantage of salvaging before disposal is that you can find mobile home salvage yards who will pay you for your appliances and scrap metals such as aluminum, brass, copper and more. Check your local listings to find out what salvage yards accept, because their terms vary from location to location and state to state. Some trailer services such are interested in antiques, so they will accept travel trailer parts, furniture, appliances, and more from pre-1970’s mobile homes.
Resources for Salvaging and Disposal of Mobile Homes
State and County Department of Environmental Quality
Visit www.deq.[yourstate].gov (i.e. www.deq.utah.gov)
National Mobile Home Transport Company List
EPA List of State, County, and City Landfills