Disposal of asbestos

Asbestos dust or fibres are highly hazardous when inhaled. For that reason, it is a regulated waste as prescribed by Schedule 7 of the Queensland Government's Environmental Protection Regulation 2008.

The smallest fibres, which may be invisible to the naked eye, are the most dangerous because they penetrate deepest into the lungs. They can be released into the air when products containing asbestos are incorrectly handled, removed or transported.

The rules for removing and transporting asbestos are outlined below. If you do not comply with these regulations, our waste and recycling centres will not accept your load. You may be reported to the relevant administrative authority for illegally handling asbestos.

Fees for disposal

Disposing of asbestos at our centres is charged as per our current waste disposal fees list. If it is mixed with other waste, the entire load will be charged at the rate for asbestos.

Types of asbestos

Non-friable asbestos is the most common form. It is 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.

Removing & transporting asbestos

Only a licensed commercial contractor can be engaged to remove:

  • non-commercial, non-friable asbestos of 250 kilograms or more (class B licence)
  • any amount of commercial non-friable asbestos (class B licence)
  • any amount of friable asbestos (class A licence).

Homeowners who remove less than 10 square metres of non-friable asbestos do not need to obtain a certificate under regulations administered by Queensland Health.

Homeowners who transport less than 250 kilograms of non-friable asbestos do not require an environmental authority for the transport of regulated waste.

As a general rule, 250 kilograms of typical asbestos waste occupies one quarter of an uncaged household trailer.

Requirements for disposal

All asbestos transported to our waste and recycling centres must be:

  • accompanied by an environmental authority to transport regulated waste (unless less than 250 kilograms on a non-commercial basis – see above)
  • wet down and double-wrapped with a minimum of 0.2 millimetre-thick low-density polyethylene sheets (LDPE), sealed with adhesive tape and placed within containers on the vehicle
  • clearly labelled ‘CAUTION ASBESTOS’ in letters of not less than 40 millimetres in height
  • securely stowed on the vehicle during transit to prevent the package rupturing
  • offloaded 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

We only accept asbestos at Stapylton and Reedy Creek landfills:

  • asbestos waste can be delivered to Stapylton Landfill 7 days a week, before 2pm
  • Reedy Creek Landfill accepts asbestos waste before 2pm from Monday to Friday and before 11am on Saturdays
  • asbestos waste will not be accepted outside these times.

All asbestos waste must be presented:

  • in sealed, heavy-duty bags made LDPE, as described above
  • 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 clearly marked, as described above
  • 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.

We will not accept any load of asbestos that does not comply with the ‘Requirements for disposal’ above.

Asbestos waste loads will be directed to a designated area of the landfill. Vehicles delivering asbestos waste should be capable of safely negotiating the area.

Unloading

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. Therefore loads must be deposited in a compact pile at the identified location to allow them 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 the City will not tolerate non-compliance with the above procedures for disposal of asbestos waste.

  • Inappropriate packaging of waste: If landfill operational staff judge the 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.

For additional information, please call Waste Management on 07 5667 5976.