The increase in DIY household renovations has highlights the importance of how to identify asbestos. It was the increasing quantity of asbestos that was unknowingly being taken to waste facilities in the northern rivers that lead to the development of the North East Waste’s Household Asbestos Testing Program. Delivered to six local councils the program is now a finalist in this year’s Local Government NSW Excellence in Environment Awards.
‘Home owners undertaking their own renovations were turning up at the landfill unaware that the materials they had removed contained asbestos. This was not only a posing a health risk for the home owners but also the staff at the waste facility who sort the waste,’ said Tash Morton, the North East Waste project co-ordinator.
The asbestos testing program was an extension of the Household Asbestos Disposal Kit program that was initiated in 2015 to assist householders with disposing of small quantities of asbestos safely. Both programs are now run by Byron, Ballina, Lismore, Kyogle, Clarence Valley and Richmond Valley Councils.
Residents are provided with a mask and sample bags, instructions and a pre-paid satchel to post their samples to the asbestos testing company. The results of the test are then emailed to the resident with information.
‘The program is the first of its kind in Australia being run by Local Government – I’m incredibly proud of the work Tash has done and happy to be recognised for our initiative, says North East Waste coordinator, Jeanie Mckillop.
For further information on where to pick up the household asbestos testing or disposal kits contact your local Council or visit the council websites. You can also contact [email protected]