Asbestos dumping is a major issue in Australia with an estimated 6,000 tonnes being ILLEGALLY dumped every year. Let’s look at some of the most common ways people dump asbestos and their dangers.
Digging a big hole up the paddock:
When you dump asbestos, it doesn’t necessarily stay put. Even if asbestos is buried in a deep but unmarked location underground, there are still dangers:
Accidental uncovering – asbestos won’t become less dangerous with time, so even if it stays buried for 50 years, the next people to own the land may get a deadly surprise when they excavate, break the asbestos, and release the deadly fibres into the air.
Underground asbestos has been known to make its way into retention pits and then into creeks and waterways. The underground water table may be a lot stronger than you are aware of and carry asbestos fragments kilometres from where they’ve been initially buried. Even if you buried asbestos expecting that they are safely away from human harm, you may inadvertently put others at risk.
What’s the difference between dumping expensive designated landfill or digging your own hole out the back?
Waste management facilities are planned and built to stringent guidelines with a range of Geotech fabrics and barriers in place to stop the movement of solid waste out of the cell. There are even stronger borders put in place for designated ‘hazardous’ cells. This is why you must call the tip before taking in a load of asbestos. It isn’t dumped with regular landfill. The facility needs to ensure its burial ground is properly prepared prior to your arrival.
Dumping in the wheelie bin
Dropping a few pieces of broken asbestos in between your regular household garbage may not seem like a crime…but sadly it is. As the waste is tipped into the truck, there’s ample opportunity for dust and fibres to become airborne, endangering everyone in the vicinity including people walking past. Not only are there HUGE fines for this, but several councils are also now investing in MicroPHAZIR Asbestos Analysers which can give an instant reading enabling fines to be issued without so much red tape.
Roadside asbestos dumping is one of the most irresponsible forms of asbestos dumping, endangering the health of passing drivers, people who stop to use the rest area and wildlife. Yep, animals can get asbestosis and mesothelioma.
If you’re ever weighing up the cost v’s the dangers, know the dangers will overshadow the perceived savings every time. Don’t dump your asbestos – trust a trained professional like HTS Group. Not only are our trucks tracked by EPA waste locate, but we also care!
https://www.newcastleherald.com.au/story/7988834/campaign-to-end-asbestos-dumping/ referenced in sourcing dumping stats