Asbestos waste

Managing asbestos waste safely is an important priority for NSW. The NSW Government is committed to protecting people from poor asbestos waste management practices.

The NSW Asbestos Waste Strategy 2019-21 focuses on six approaches to improving asbestos waste management:

  • making lawful asbestos waste disposal easier
  • making lawful asbestos waste disposal cheaper
  • increasing awareness and changing behaviour
  • closing loopholes and increasing transparency
  • disrupting unlawful business models
  • monitoring and evaluating.

For business and industry – dealing with asbestos at work

For information on how to identity, remove and dispose of asbestos in the workplace visit the Asbestos in NSW website

If you’re working with asbestos, see the SafeWork NSW website for Codes of Practice, advice and resources. 

Under the Protection of the Environment Operations (Waste) Regulation 2014, asbestos transporters and facilities receiving asbestos waste are required to track loads of asbestos greater than 100 kilograms, or 10 square metres using WasteLocate

For landfill operators – managing asbestos waste

Alternative cover option for asbestos waste at landfills

In NSW, landfill operators are required to cover asbestos waste with virgin excavated natural material (VENM), unless they have approval from the EPA to use an alternative cover.

The EPA has worked with industry to trial alternative asbestos cover options in consultation with SafeWork NSW. These trials were conducted at three Sydney landfills using general solid waste, including red bin household waste. An evaluation of the trials identified no perverse outcomes.

General solid waste is a cost-effective alternative to cover made from VENM. There is an expectation that the cost to the disposer is reduced accordingly.

This alternative cover option is limited to the initial (at the time of disposal) and end of day cover of asbestos waste.  All exposed landfilled waste, including the general solid waste used to cover asbestos waste, must continue to be covered with VENM or an approved daily cover prior to ceasing operations at the end of each day.

Applying for a licence variation

Landfill operators licensed to accept asbestos waste can apply for a licence variation to request the use of general solid waste as an alternative landfill cover for asbestos waste. Lawful landfills outside of the regulated area may ask for written approval to use an alternative cover for asbestos waste.

All variations and requests will be assessed on their individual merits and situations.  

For householders – dealing with asbestos at home

Who is responsible for regulating asbestos waste?

For information on the roles and responsibilities of local and state government organisations for managing asbestos visit https://www.asbestos.nsw.gov.au/member-and-affiliated-agencies.

More information

Contact Environment Line on 131 555.

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