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Byron Shire
April 17, 2021

Disposal of asbestos a serious matter

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Asbestos being removed. Photo from asbestosremovalprofessionals.com.au

The disposal of asbestos is a very serious issue and councils on the far north coast are very concerned that it might be finding its way into general rubbish at local tips.

The Byron Resource Recovery Centre (BRRC) wants residents to know that the tip does not accept asbestos or asbestos-containing material.

Byron council is issuing a stern reminder following a recent incident where a customer dropped off a significant amount of asbestos in the construction and demolition bay at the BRRC in Myocum, unnecessarily exposing staff and members of the public to asbestos.

Council’s Director of Infrastructure Services, Phil Holloway said that creating a health risk such as dumping asbestos is a serious matter. ‘We are investigating this matter further and taking steps to ensure it doesn’t happen again,’ he said. ‘The full list of facilities licenced to accept asbestos is available on the Environment Protection Authority’s website.

Byron is not the only council in the area not accepting asbestos – the Lismore Resource Recovery Centre has also recently stopped offering this service.

Byron council has an Asbestos Policy acknowledging the serious health hazards of exposure to asbestos and is committed to ensuring that all asbestos-containing material at worksites is identified, managed and controlled to protect the health and well-being of workers, contractors and the community.

People and businesses caught illegally transporting or dumping asbestos in NSW can face on-the-spot fines of up to $15,000.

If you are not sure if what you have is asbestos, the Byron Shire Council is now providing free Household Asbestos Testing Kits which can be collected from their Customer Service team at Council’s Head Office in Mullumbimby. Each kit contains sample bags, instructions for taking the sample and a return paid postal satchel which can be put into any Australia Post box.

Results are provided from the laboratory in five working days.  If you receive a positive test result you are responsible for appropriate management of asbestos removal from your property.

Council also sells Household Asbestos Removal Kits at the BRRC at a subsidised rate of $25. The kits contain all of the safety equipment and information needed to safely remove up to 10 square metres of asbestos from your home.  Any amount larger than 10 square metres needs to be removed by a licenced contractor.

For more information see Byron council’s website: www.byron.nsw.gov.au/Services/Waste-recycling/Asbestos-removal-and-disposal, or contact Council’s Environmental Programs Officer Kane Goldsworthy on 6626 7175.

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