Asbestos Disposal Now Cheaper

Filed under Council, Environment & Pollution, News ~ by Press on  6 Nov 2019

An increase in safe disposal areas for asbestos and an end to expensive asbestos disposal levies aim to reduce illegal across NSW.

Asbestos illegally dumped at Morisset earlier this year.

The reduction of costs accompanies increased penalties for those caught illegally dumping asbestos.

Fines increased from $44,000 for corporations and $22,000 for individuals illegally dumping asbestos to $2 million for corporations and $500,000 for individuals.

Government changes to asbestos waste management reflect submissions made by LGNSW to government in November last year, calling for more drop off locations, levy exemptions, and regulation changes to make it simpler to deal with the issue.

Local Government NSW (LGNSW) President Linda Scott said illegal dumping of asbestos was a scourge facing many local government areas, exacerbated by restrictive regulations and levy fees that made it costly to do the right thing.

LGNSW has been calling on government to remove the levy from small amounts of asbestos waste since it was introduced in 2008, and we’re really delighted our advocacy has delivered this great result,” Cr Scott said.

When the government introduced the levy councils saw a noticeable spike in illegal dumping of asbestos and other waste.

This is a major cost for councils which have the task and bear the cost of safely cleaning it up – and most importantly, it poses a serious health risk to communities.

At last month’s LGNSW Annual Conference councils passed a series of motions calling on State Government to help reduce illegal dumping of asbestos by removing the waste levy on asbestos and providing greater access to disposal facilities.

Some communities, such as people in Warrumbungle Shire Council, have to travel more than 100 kilometres just to access a safe disposal site.

With all these factors in play, it is no wonder asbestos accounts for up to 8 per cent of illegally dumped waste in NSW,” Cr Scott said.

Changes to asbestos waste regulations allow disposal of up to 250 kilograms of appropriately separated and wrapped asbestos waste at an approved facility would no longer attract landfill levies.

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