Mildura Rural City Council is urging people to be prepared and aware of their obligations when disposing of asbestos as spring cleaning season gets in to full swing.
The onset of spring is often a busy time for home renovations and clean ups, which sometimes uncover asbestos materials.
This is a potentially dangerous substance that must be handled with care and disposed of safely.
The Mildura Landfill is the only local facility licenced to accept asbestos waste and Environmental Sustainability Portfolio Councillor Anthony Cirillo said residents should contact the Landfill for information and advice about disposal if they came across asbestos materials at home.
“You can dispose of asbestos at a licenced facility like the Mildura Landfill without a licence,” Cr Cirillo said.
“However you can only dispose of up to ten square metres without a licence and it must be carefully bundled in to small quantities, wrapped in black plastic sheeting, and completely sealed with adhesive tape.
“Larger quantities must be handled by a licensed asbestos removal contractor and in some cases it is best to leave it to the experts,” Cr Cirillo said.
Asbestos is the name given to a group of naturally occurring minerals found in rock formations, and when processed, its fibres were found to be strong, heat resistant and good insulators.
Asbestos is also broken down into loose fibres or fibre bundles which can be mixed in with other materials, such as cement, to produce a variety of building products.
Up to 90 percent of asbestos produced in, or imported into Australia, was used for the manufacture of building products, especially asbestos cement materials before the late 1980s.
Asbestos becomes a potential risk to health if fibres are suspended in air and breathed into the lungs. Breathing asbestos fibres into the lungs can cause a range of diseases.
“Because of the potential health risks, it is really important you take the correct measures to protect yourself and the wider community if you suspect you’ve found asbestos materials or need to dispose of them,” Cr Cirillo said.
Asbestos materials should never be put in a kerbside rubbish or recycling bin, left near a bin for collection, dumped illegally or reused or repurposed.
Cr Cirillo said asbestos waste also posed a risk to the health and safety of Council’s weighbridge and landfill staff and recycling contractors who could potentially come in to contact with it.
“If our staff suspect a load being delivered at the landfill contains asbestos then they have no choice but to treat it as if it does.”
For more information about asbestos disposal call the Mildura Landfill or go to www.asbestos.vic.gov.au