No waste levy on asbestos proposed

Article image - No waste levy on  asbestos proposed Asbestos is a major public health concern for Western Sydney which is considered Sydney’s ‘fibro belt’.

The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has welcomed the release of the New South Wales Government’s Asbestos Strategy which includes a proposal to make asbestos disposal cheaper via the removal of the waste levy.

WSROC President, Councillor Barry Calvert, spoke out in support of strong action on asbestos and commended Energy and Environment Minister, Matt Kean, for his responsiveness on the issue.

“Asbestos is a major public health concern for Western Sydney which is considered Sydney’s ‘fibro belt’.

“In the early 1980s, some areas of Western Sydney saw more than 30 percent of homes clad in asbestos products.

“These areas are now undergoing rapid urban renewal in the form of new housing developments and DIY renovations.

“There is an urgent need to ensure people are aware of asbestos risks, proper disposal methods, and have access to affordable, accessible disposal services.”

The New South Wales Asbestos Strategy seeks to make asbestos disposal cheaper, easier and more transparent, increase awareness of risks and proper disposal methods, and disrupt improper practices.

“WSROC supports the New South Wales Environmental Protection Authority’s (EPA) proposal to remove the waste levy from asbestos, making it cheaper for people to dispose of asbestos correctly.”
While the waste levy paid on all waste sent to landfill is effective at promoting recycling, asbestos cannot be recycled, Cr Calvert said.

“We also strongly support greater community engagement and education on the risks of asbestos, where it may occur in the home, and how to dispose of it correctly.

“While there is broad acknowledgement of the dangers of asbestos, many people remain unsure of what to do.

“We also strongly encourage the NSW EPA to collaborate with local governments to ensure policy changes don’t have unintended impacts.

“Local councils have to deal with these issues daily and have a wealth of experience when it comes to practical implementation.”