New strategy tackles asbestos waste and illegal dumping
Managing asbestos waste is extremely important because of the material’s serious threat to public health and the environment. A new strategy is helping the EPA to tackle the issue.
The risk of asbestos can be managed by correct handling, storage, transport and disposal.
The NSW Government launched the NSW Asbestos Waste Strategy in December with innovative measures to reduce illegal dumping and unsafe disposal, and to promote lawful and appropriate disposal of asbestos waste.
The Strategy was developed following research which showed that asbestos waste accounts for up to 8% of illegally dumped waste across NSW.
Asbestos waste disposal presents complex and unique problems. Most asbestos waste comes from renovation and development, and also includes legacy asbestos waste such as pieces found in backyards and under houses.
The human health risk of asbestos can be managed with correct handling, storage, transport and disposal. However, environment protection agencies and local authorities across Australia are still challenged by illegal dumping and improper disposal.
Illegal dumping or transport
The NSW Government can now monitor repeat offenders with GPS trackers to deter illegal dumping of asbestos and cancel vehicle registration for people caught doing the wrong thing.
The maximum penalties for illegal dumping of asbestos in NSW is $2 million for corporations and $500,000 for individuals. Even smaller operators can be caught as a Sydney truck driver involved in a crash discovered when he was fined $750 in December 2019 for illegal transport of asbestos waste. Read more.
Managing asbestos in the home
The EPA has been running a community awareness campaign over the past few months to advise tradespeople, home owners and renters on how to be safe around asbestos when renovating or doing home maintenance. Read more.