Asbestos clean-up bill hits $15,000 after further material dumped

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Piles of rubbish, containing asbestos, dumped in the hinterland.

The bill to clean up asbestos dumped on the roadside during the kerbside rubbish collection is set to hit $15,000 following the discovery of three more piles.

Council’s Waste Coordinator Ian Florence says it’s been a disappointing end to the annual kerbside rubbish collection.

“These are acts of illegal dumping that have put members of the public at risk and so far cost ratepayers at least $15,000 in removal and clean-up costs,” he said.

Specialist asbestos contractors removed around a tonne of asbestos each from Bakers Road, Jampot Creek Road and Falls Creek Road.

“Combined with the asbestos removed last week from Western Branch Road, it’s in excess of four tonnes of hazardous material dumped beside the road,” Mr Florence said.

“It’s illegal dumping - asbestos is not, nor has it ever been, accepted as part of the kerbside bulk rubbish collection. Asbestos removal and disposal is a specialised field as exposure to asbestos fibres poses serious health risks.”

Mr Florence said illegal dumping was a serious offence, particularly in the case of hazardous material.

“As soon as we’re made aware of dumped asbestos, we inspect and secure each site with warning tape and signage,” Mr Florence said.

“An asbestos removal contractor is called in to remove the material under the guidance of an independent hygienist.

“The asbestos material is then sent to Council’s landfill facility and the dump site thoroughly decontaminated, with a clearance certificate provided by the hygienist.”

Mr Florence said Council was investigating each recent incident and hoped to prosecute.

“The culprits should expect to cop a fine, which may be in excess of $130,000 if the matter is prosecuted,” he said.

“Anyone dumping asbestos on the street is putting members of the public at risk and we take that very seriously.”

 
Community Environment Law & Safety Noosa Council
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