The most popular use of diatomaceous earth is as a filter medium. Diatomaceous earth, an ultra-fine silicate composed of microscopic hollow particles, works to filter extremely fine particles that would normally pass through or clog a paper filter. The most common noncommercial use of diatomaceous earth is as a pool-filter medium. The silicate can cause serious health hazards. If inhaled it can cause silicosis. If handled without gloves, it can cause serious drying of the skin leading to cracked and bleeding skin. Follow special precautions when disposing of diatomaceous earth.
Check local and state regulations on the disposal of diatomaceous earth. There are no Federal laws concerning the disposal of diatomaceous earth; however there may be local and state regulations concerning the safe disposal in your area. The contaminates that the silicate was designed to filter out are the major concern. One of the easiest ways to determine the legality of disposing of diatomaceous earth is to call and ask a local pool supply company.
Wear gloves and a mask when disposing of diatomaceous earth. If the diatomaceous earth is dry, dampen it with sufficient water to create slurry. This prevents airborne particulates from damaging your lungs.
Bag diatomaceous earth and dispose using your local trash service and following local regulations, or bury it under 2 feet of topsoil to cover the silicate and prevent it from being blown away.