Asbestos Information

What is Asbestos? This is a naturally-occurring mineral fibre.

Historically, it has been mined and used by many industries worldwide.

Asbestos was once considered to be a very useful mineral because of its versatility. It can withstand heat, erosion and decay, has fire and water resistant properties, was flexible, strong, affordable and can insulate from heat and electricity.

Because of this, it was commonly used in the construction of homes and buildings.

There are six types of asbestos mineral fibres:

  • Chrysotile (white asbestos)
  • Amosite (brown or grey asbestos)
  • Crocidolite (blue asbestos)
  • Tremolite
  • Actinolite
  • Anthophylite
Exposure to asbestos fibres can cause life-threatening illnesses, so use of asbestos has been greatly reduced and it is now banned in 61 countries.

It becomes a health risk when asbestos fibres are released into the air and breathed in.
asbestos dust hazard banner
Asbestos building materials is described as either “non-friable” or “friable“.

Non-Friable asbestos is any material (other than friable asbestos) that contains asbestos. Non- friable asbestos cannot be crumbled, pulverised or reduced to a powder by hand pressure when dry.

Common uses for non-friable asbestos in buildings include: flat (fibro), corrugated or compressed asbestos cement sheets; water, drainage and flue pipes; and floor tiles.

If fire, hail, or direct activities such as water blasting and drilling damages bonded asbestos, it may become friable asbestos material.

Friable asbestos material is any material that contains asbestos and is in the form of a powder or can be crumbled, pulverised or reduced to powder by hand pressure when dry.

Friable asbestos was not commonly used in the home; it was mainly used in industrial applications such as pipe lagging, sprayed limpet and asbestos cloth and rope.

Friable asbestos can only be removed by a licenced asbestos removalist with a friable asbestos licence.
Asbestos or asbestos-containing materials could be found in the following areas:

  • roofing and gutters
  • gables and eaves
  • walls
  • vinyl, carpet and tile underlay
  • lining behind wall tiles
  • imitation brick cladding
  • fencing
  • sheds
  • splashbacks in wet areas
  • telecommunications pits
  • some window putty
  • expansion joints
  • packing under beams
  • concrete formwork
asbestos removal with bag
Council will require you to give the following details to the attendant at the Jindabyne Landfill or the Cooma Landfill at time of disposal

  • Location where the asbestos materials have come from.
  • Weight and size. 
  • Contact of the Licensed removalist if asbestos over 10sq or 100kg
Who to contact
For more information regarding the regulations for Asbestos Safe Disposal within the Snowy Monaro Regional Council, please contact the Waste Facilities directly on the below details.

Jindabyne Landfill
6013 Kosciuszko Road, Jindabyne 
Phone: 02 6457 1064 or Jindabyne Landfill Supervisor Phone: 0428 411 045
Open: Everyday 10am - 3pm (Closed on Public Holidays) 

Cooma Landfill
8448 Monaro Highway, Cooma
Phone: 02 6452 1105
Open: Sunday - Friday 11am - 5pm and Saturdays 1pm - 5pm (Closed on Public Holidays)
Because of the dangers associated with the handling of asbestos, its safe removal and disposal is very important.

Before renovating, visit Asbestos Awareness website to learn where asbestos might be found in your home, the dangers of disturbing it and how best to manage it. 

  • Australia has been ranked among the world's top consumers of asbestos products per capita.
  • 1 in 3 Australian homes contain asbestos in some form or another (a conservative estimate).
  • There is no known safe level of exposure to asbestos fibres so it's vital to safely manage asbestos-containing products.
  • Asbestos is the only known cause of mesothelioma (an incurable asbestos-related cancer).
  • Every brick, weatherboard, fibro or clad home built or renovated before 1987, most likely contains asbestos-containing products in some form or another.
  • During renovations or the demolition of homes containing asbestos products, asbestos fibres can be released into the air and be inhaled putting renovators, families, tradespeople and bystanders at risk. 
  • If you find asbestos in your home; Don't cut it! Don't drill it! Don't drop it ! Don't sand it! Don't saw it! Don't scrub it! Don't dismantle it! Don't tip it! Don't waterblast it! Don't demolish it! and whatever you do...DON'T DUMP IT!
Asbestos materials were commonly used in the building industry from 1940 to 1980. There is now a ban on using asbestos products.
WorkCover NSW and the Environment Protection Authority
The handling and storage of asbestos waste at worksites is regulated by WorkCover NSW, while the storage, disposal and transport of asbestos waste at non-worksites is regulated by the NSW Environment Protection Authority.

click on brochure to download

Visit the Asbestos Awareness website to understand Asbestos, the dangers that might be found in the home, how to manage it safely and the 20 Point Safety Check.

You can check out the following videos for more information.

Community Service Announcement
https://youtu.be/MV9kK_nCBzE

Homeowners and renovators can visit
www.safework.nsw.gov.au for the Code of Practice December 2011

Local Government NSW has developed a fact sheet which covers:

  • where asbestos may be found in a typical home
  • who to contact
  • safe management, removal and disposal of asbestos
asbestos danger sign
asbestos dumped black plastic
Also see: Asbestos - Health & Safety - SafeWork NSW

It is not possible to determine whether a material contains asbestos by simply looking at it. The only way to be sure is to get a sample tested by a National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) accredited laboratory.

The risk to families is when building materials containing asbestos are disturbed or damaged and this can release dangerous dust and fibres that can be inhaled. People put themselves and their children at risk if they are not aware of the hazards of working with asbestos materials including fibro.
Asbesto-Awareness-image
New South Wales State Guide to D.I.Y Asbestos Regulations
You are permitted to remove a maximum of 10 square meters or 100kgs of bonded asbestos in New South Wales without a license, as long as you follow the correct safe removal practices for asbestos.

Above 10 square meters or 100kg, you must either hire a qualified asbestos removalist or obtain a NSW Work cover bonded asbestos removal licence which requires you to attend an appropriate training course run by TAFE or a registered training organisation. Any loose or friable asbestos must be removed by a qualified asbestos removalist and cannot be removed by the homeowner. 

Always contact the Landfill beforehand to find out whether asbestos is accepted and any requirements for delivering asbestos to the landfill.

Please note that while every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is correct and useful, the EPA does not endorse any of the Landfills listed or guarantee that they will accept asbestos under all circumstances. Users are responsible for checking these details before taking asbestos to the Landfills listed.
Protection of the Environment Operations (Waste) Regulation 2014
The Protection of the Environment Operations (Waste) Regulation 2014 introduces new requirements for waste transporters to record the movement of more than 100kg of asbestos waste or more than 10 square metres of asbestos sheeting.

From 1 July 2015, loads of asbestos waste will be assigned a unique consignment code to allow the EPA to monitor their movement from site of generation to disposal.

Part 7 Transportation and management of asbestos waste - Protection of the Environment Operations (Waste) Regulation 2014

Disposal of asbestos waste (cf clause 42 (4) of 2005 Reg)

(1) A person disposing of asbestos waste off the site at which it is generated must do so at a landfill site that can lawfully receive the waste.

(2) When a person delivers asbestos waste to a landfill site, the person must inform the occupier of the landfill site that the waste contains asbestos. Page 46

(3) When a person unloads or disposes of asbestos waste at a landfill site, the person must prevent: 
  • (a) any dust being generated from the waste, and
  • (b) any dust in the waste from being stirred up.
(4) The occupier of a landfill site must ensure that asbestos waste disposed of at the site is covered with virgin excavated natural material or (if expressly authorised by an environment protection licence held by the occupier) other material:
  • (a) initially (at the time of disposal), to a depth of at least 0.15 metre, and
  • (b) at the end of each day’s operation, to a depth of at least 0.5 metre, and
  • (c) finally, to a depth of at least 1 metre (in the case of bonded asbestos material or asbestos-contaminated soils) or 3 metres (in the case of friable asbestos material) beneath the final land surface of the landfill site.
Maximum penalty: 400 penalty units in the case of a corporation, 200 penalty units in the case of an individual.

To view the entire Protection of the Environment Operations (Waste) Regulation 2014 [NSW]