Disposal of asbestos
Asbestos is a regulated waste as prescribed by Schedule 7 of the Environmental Protection Regulation 2008.
Asbestos dust or fibres are highly hazardous when inhaled. They can be released into the air when products containing asbestos are incorrectly handled, removed or transported.
Non-friable asbestos is the most common form, usually found as cement sheeting (flat or corrugated), vinyl floor tiles, water or flue pipes, or other asbestos-bonded products produced before 1990. If left undisturbed, non-friable asbestos presents no known health risk.
Friable asbestos was used in pipe lagging, insulation and asbestos-backed vinyl floor tiles and presents significant health risks if disturbed.
Asbestos dust contains tiny, almost indestructible fibres that can cause damage when they are breathed into the lungs. The smallest fibres, which may be invisible to the naked eye, are the most dangerous because they penetrate deepest into the lungs.
Rules for removing and transporting asbestos
- A licensed commercial contractor must be engaged to remove:
- Non-commercial non-friable asbestos 250 kilograms or more (class B licence),
- Any amount of commercial non-friable asbestos (class B licence), and
- Any amount of friable asbestos (class A licence)
- Home owners who remove less than 10 square metres of non-friable asbestos do not need to obtain a certificate under regulations administered by Queensland Health
- Home owners who transport less than 250 kilograms of non-friable asbestos do not require an environmental authority for the transport of regulated waste (Environmental Protection Regulation 2008 section 57). As a general rule, 250 kilograms of typical asbestos waste occupies one quarter of an uncaged household trailer.
Requirements for disposal
All asbestos that is transported to a City of Gold Coast waste and recycling centre must be:
- accompanied by an environmental authority to transport regulated waste (unless transporting less than 250 kilograms on a non-commercial basis – Environmental Protection Regulation 2008 ERA 57). See Rules for removing and transporting asbestos, above.
- wet down, double-wrapped with a minimum of 0.2 millimetres thick polyethylene sheets, sealed with adhesive tape and placed within containers on the vehicle
- clearly labelled as asbestos
- securely stowed on the vehicle during transit in a way that will prevent the package rupturing
- off loaded in a manner that will not cause the package to rupture
- repackaged immediately if rupturing of the package occurs.
Note: The material used as wrapping is not to be removed at any time and is to be disposed of with the asbestos.
Procedure for disposal of asbestos
- City of Gold Coast (City) only accepts asbestos at Stapylton and Reedy Creek landfills.
- Asbestos waste can be delivered to Stapylton Landfill seven days a week, before 2pm. Reedy Creek Landfill accepts asbestos waste before 2pm Monday to Friday and before 11am on Saturdays. Asbestos waste will not be accepted after these times. When conditions allow and the ‘Requirements for disposal’ are met, domestic quantities of less than 250 kilograms may be accepted outside these hours.
- Any load of asbestos not complying with the ‘Requirements for disposal’ will not be accepted.
- Asbestos waste loads will be directed to a designated area of the landfill’s active face. Vehicles delivering asbestos waste should therefore be capable of safely traversing the landfill area.
- Asbestos waste in the form of asbestos fibre and dust must be presented in sealed, heavy duty bags made from low density polyethylene (LDPE) at least 0.2 millimetres thick. Each bag must be no larger than 1.2 metres in height, 0.9 metres in width and must weigh no more than 25 kilograms. Each bag must be marked “CAUTION ASBESTOS” in letters of not less than 40 millimetres in height. These sealed bags must be placed on the ground in a manner that prevents their rupture. Permission will not be given to unload bags by tipping them from a vehicle fitted with a tipping body.
Asbestos waste that is in the form of stabilised asbestos must be presented for disposal and unloaded in a manner that avoids the creation of dust. Stabilised asbestos waste will not be accepted at the site if it is not presented and unloaded in the manner prescribed for asbestos fibre and dust.
- Please note: it is the responsibility of transporters to deposit waste on the ground at the correct location and with bundles intact.
- The practice of 'running out’ loads deposited by tip trucks will not be permitted. Landfill operators are prohibited from contacting asbestos waste with earthmoving equipment. Loads must be deposited in a compact pile at the identified location to allow operators to cover the asbestos waste without the need to first ‘push it up’.
Non-compliance with required procedures for disposal
The potential health impacts associated with asbestos exposure and the clear legislative constraints for landfill operators mean that the City will not tolerate non-compliance with the above procedures for disposal of asbestos waste.
- Inappropriate packaging of waste - In the event landfill operational staff deem asbestos waste cannot be unloaded without rupturing, a supervisor will inspect the load. Should the supervisor determine the load cannot be unloaded in accordance with the ‘Requirements for disposal’, permission will not be granted to dispose of the material and the driver will be directed to leave the site.
- Failure to unload as per requirements - Where loads are packaged as required but the method of unloading results in bundles rupturing, details of the vehicle and load will be recorded on the computer system and the customer reminded of the site’s requirements. Should a second load rupture on unloading, no further asbestos loads will be accepted from that person and/or vehicle until it can be demonstrated that an improved method of unloading will be employed.
- Notification to administering authorities - Persons not complying with the above requirements may be reported to the relevant administering authority.
Asbestos waste will be charged as per the current landfill disposal fees list.
Where asbestos waste is mixed with other waste, the entire load will be charged at the rate for asbestos and the load will need to be presented as per the ‘Procedure for disposal of asbestos’.
For additional information, please call Waste Management on 07 5667 5976.
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