Asbestos and asbestos cement

Asbestos is classified by the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER), as a Type 1 special waste and must be disposed of at a disposal site licensed to accept such wastes. The EMRC's Red Hill Waste Management Facility is licensed by DWER to accept a range of wastes including Type 1 special waste.

Types of asbestos

There are two types of asbestos, non-friable and friable, and Red Hill is licensed to accept both types. Non-friable is the most common form of asbestos and includes a range of asbestos cement products such as fencing and roofing sheets, as well as vinyl asbestos tiles. Non-friable asbestos has a binder that holds the asbestos fibres in a solid matrix. This means that the individual asbestos fibres can not be easily released unless it is mishandled, damaged or badly weathered.

The less common friable asbestos, also known as limpet asbestos, was used in the 1950's and 1960's to lag pipes and used as a spray application or as a tile on walls and ceilings for sound/fire insulation. As friable asbestos can be easily crumbled to a fine powder by hand, it should only be removed by a licensed asbestos removal specialist.

Disposal requirements

The following guidelines will assist you to correctly dispose of your asbestos products at the Red Hill Waste Management Facility. The most important thing to remember is to advise the Red Hill weighbridge attendant that you have asbestos waste for disposal so that they can arrange for a transfer station attendant to be on hand to direct you to the relevant area. The Red Hill Waste Management Facility does not allow tipping of asbestos.

Non-friable asbestos

All non-friable asbestos must be:

  • Separated from other material for disposal.
  • Double wrapped in heavy duty plastic (available from most hardware stores) and sealed with adhesive tape to prevent asbestos fibres from being released. No more than three sheets per bundle if being unloaded by hand, or if being unloaded by a forklift, in bundles of no more than 20 sheets placed on wood cleats.
  • Labelled with the words "CAUTION ASBESTOS" in letters not less than 50mm high.

Friable asbestos

Licensed asbestos removal specialists should be engaged to remove friable asbestos. This form of asbestos must be delivered double wrapped in asbestos safety bags placed in fully contained sealed drums to prevent the release of fibres during disposal and Red Hill must be contacted prior to the waste being delivered.  Commercial loads will require a waste acceptance approval.

Asbestos contaminated soil and sand

The DWER requires that anyone disposing of soil and/or sand contaminated with asbestos obtain a Waste Acceptance Approval Certificate prior to its disposal at site. A Waste Acceptance Approval (WAA) Certificate can be obtained through EMRC's environmental services department by calling (08) 9424 2222.

A number of safety measures should be taken to prevent asbestos fibres escaping during removal and transport. These can be discussed with the EMRC as part of the process of obtaining your WAA Certificate.

Please note that Council issued tip passes are not valid for the disposal of asbestos.