Council issues asbestos disposal warning

Asbestos products were widely used and exported in Australia up until the 70s.Asbestos products were widely used and exported in Australia up until the 70s.

Central Coast Council has issued warnings after asbestos was found in green waste after a bin collection around Umina and Ettalong.

The contaminated green waste bin was collected by Council’s waste contractor, Cleanaway. The asbestos-contaminated the materials in the truck, as well as exposing staff to asbestos compromising their health and safety, according to Council acting senior manager Mr Andrew Pearce. “It is illegal to dispose of asbestos waste in domestic kerbside bins,” said mayor Cr Jane Smith. “Fines issued by the Environmental Protection Authority of up to $15,000 apply if you do the wrong thing with asbestos waste. “Let’s make sure we keep hazardous waste out of our bins,” Cr Smith said. Mr Pearce, reminded residents to follow the proper protocol when disposing of asbestos.

“Asbestos can be disposed of at Council’s Woy Woy Waste Management Facilities by residents for a cost providing strict guidelines are followed and it is less than 10 metres square. “This includes notification being provided 24 hours in advance and asbestos must be wrapped in manageable bundles with two layers of plastic with a thickness of at least 0.2mm (builder’s plastic) and sealed using adhesive packaging tape,” he said. Transportation of more than 10 square metres per 100kg of asbestos waste (friable and/or bonded) is required by law to be tracked via the waste located app and can only be undertaken by a licenced asbestos removalist, unless in an emergency situation. Council director Mr Scott Cox said that asbestos may be present in one out of every three Australian homes. “Asbestos is very common in homes built or renovated before 1987, found behind walls, ceiling, around hot water pipes, fences and more,” Mr Cox said.

“If you do not know how to identify or correctly and safely manage the disposal of asbestos it is best to leave renovations to the experts,” he said. “If you have concerns about removing or storing asbestos, or believe asbestos is posing a risk to the community, contact Council so the matter can be investigated by one of our Environmental Health Officers.” If well maintained and left undisturbed asbestos is unlikely to pose a health risk, he said. Renovators could visit for user-friendly information including the Asbestos in Your Home – The Ultimate Renovators Guide video and the 20 Point Safety Check. Visit asbestos for more information on how to safely dispose of asbestos.

Source: Website, July 4 Jane Smith, Central Coast Council Media release, 5 Jul 2018 Scott Cox, Central Coast Council