What is Asbestos?
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral found in the surface of the earth. Asbestos fibres are 50 to 200 times thinner than a human hair, can float in the air for a long time, can be invisible to the naked eye and can be breathed into the lungs. Materials containing asbestos were very common in the Australian residential building industry between the 1940s and late 1980s before their production stopped in 1986. The use of all forms of asbestos has been banned nationally since 31 December 2003. The ban does not apply to asbestos installed prior to this date (eg. asbestos materials in houses).
Forms of Asbestos
- Bonded Asbestos - is any material (apart from friable asbestos material) that contains asbestos.
- Friable Asbestos Material - is a material that contains asbestos and is in the form of powder or can be crumbled, pulverized or reduced to powder by hand pressure when dry.
Where is Asbestos commonly found?
- Super six fence / roof sheeting
- Lagging and heat shielding pre 1987
- Claddings of building structures such as Hardiflex , Fibrolite, cement sheeting and fibro
- Roof insulation that was installed around 1960-1970
- Sprayed coatings on walls, beams and ceilings
- Tile backing
- Pipe insulation
Health Problems Associated with Asbestos
Asbestos poses risks to human health when fibres are inhaled. The fibres are generally released into the air when asbestos is cut, drilled, broken or water blasted. The inhalation of asbestos fibres can cause mesothelioma, lung cancer and asbestos. Symptoms of such health effects may not occur until about 20-30 years from the time of exposure. Council and the Environmental Protection Authority are the responsible authorities for regulating the storage, disposal and transport of asbestos once it leaves the work site.
Disposal of Asbestos Waste
Asbestos is accepted at the Coffs Coast Resource Recovery Park on Englands Road, only under strict conditions and will ONLY be received at the Englands Road Facility on Thursday, Friday and Saturday afternoons between 12.30pm and 3.30pm.
Contact the Coffs Coast Waste Services Hotline on 1800 265 495 for more information.
Prior to disposing of asbestos products / waste it is a requirement that arrangements be made with Council’s waste facility operator before transporting the waste to the depot.
Details of how to correctly handle or dispose of waste are detailed in some of the links in the resources section. The contact number for the Waste Facility operator in the Coffs Harbour Local Government area is 02 6648 4580.