Firm stance on asbestos

Redland City Council has tightened asbestos waste management practices at transfer stations to reduce the risk of community exposure.

The changes place the onus on users of the facility to prove their waste doesn’t contain asbestos.

If there is any doubt, the material won’t be accepted at local transfer stations unless it is wrapped and sealed according to health and safety standards.

“This is in line with neighboring local government transfer stations and will improve health and safety for locals,” said Redland City Mayor Karen Williams.

“While this may mean some minor additional work for some people to dispose of material that may contain asbestos, our first priority is the health and safety of our staff and residents, so we make no apologies for enforcing these changes.”

Council has also removed a $50 surcharge on asbestos for residents to encourage proper disposal.

Council’s environmental spokesperson Councillor Paul Gleeson said there had been 39 incidents of illegal asbestos disposal at mainland transfer stations between 27 August last year and 19 February this year.

“This costs Council thousands of dollars to dispose of, and presents considerable health and safety risks.

“Asbestos containing material includes fibro, cement sheeting, asbestos cement (ac sheeting), Hardiplank, Hardiflex, Super Six roof sheeting, Villaboard, Millboard, insulating board, vinyl sheet flooring, backing material and tiles.

“Previously if someone turned up at transfer stations with this material and it was thought it didn’t contain asbestos they would be allowed to bring it into the transfer station.”

Cr Gleeson said while some people may believe their load does not contain asbestos, without microscopic examination they cannot know for sure.
“Council staff will inspect loads as they come into the transfer station and where there is any doubt whether or not the load contains asbestos, it will not be allowed through the gatehouse.

“Another change at waste transfer stations is that residential and commercial trucks and utes can no longer tip mixed waste loads directly onto the ground.

“This means all renovation, general waste must be hand unloaded by the customer into the designated waste bins, which will reduce double handling and ensure all waste is secured in the appropriate bins.”