Asbestos has been found dumped at Wilsons Creek near a waterway and Byron Shire Council is asking residents to keep an eye for illegal rubbish dumpers.
Last month 40-50kg of asbestos was discovered on Parmenters Rd at Wilsons Creek. It was found close to the road and sitting approximately 150m from a creek bed.
Council’s Waste Education and Compliance Officer, Kate Akkerman, said the potential impact of asbestos on human health is well documented and the dumping of asbestos is a serious crime.
‘For someone to dump this asbestos with no regard for human health or the impact on the environment is absolutely disgraceful and anyone with information is asked to contact Council,’ Ms Akkerman said.
‘The fines for this sort of thing are around $2 million for corporations and $500,000 for individuals and this is an indication of the importance of disposing of asbestos safely.
‘We were notified by a local resident who suspected it was asbestos and we investigated immediately.
‘Luckily we got it cleaned up before the heavy rain,’ she said.
Free asbestos testing kits
Byron Shire Council offers free asbestos testing kits which can be collected from Council’s administration centre in Mullumbimby.
‘There are instructions in the test kit telling people how to take a sample and send it to a laboratory to get tested,’ Ms Akkerman said.
‘The results normally come back from the laboratory fairly quickly and depending what they show, people can either start work or alternatively take steps to have the asbestos managed and removed.’
Asbestos removal kits are available from Council’s Resource Recover Centre at Myocum for use on areas less than 10m2.
For larger areas, greater than 10m2, removal must be undertaken by a licenced contractor.
If people need to dispose of asbestos they should go to the NSW Environment Protection Agency website.
The asbestos from Wilsons Creek was taken to the Stotts Creek facility at the Tweed because the Byron Resource Recovery Centre is not licensed to take the material.