Managing Asbestos

Managing Asbestos

All Armidale Regional Council residents should be aware of potential asbestos exposure situations. It is vital that residents, renovators and professionals in our Council area have easy access to clear advice about what they should and shouldn't do to avoid exposure to asbestos.  Asbestos is prevalent in older buildings but with sensible and straightforward advice, the risks of harm can be minimised and avoided altogether.

Did you know:  If asbestos is undisturbed it does not pose a health risk.  However, if it is disturbed, the following legal requirements apply:

  • It is illegal to dispose of asbestos waste in domestic garbage bins
  • It is illegal to re-use or recycle asbestos products
  • It is illegal to dump asbestos products
  • It is illegal to use power tools that make asbestos fibres airborne
  • It is illegal to waterblast asbestos cement sheets (fibro)
  • Only licenced asbestos removalists can remove asbestos of 10 square metres or more
  • Licensed removal work has to be notified to WorkCover 7 days prior to removal
  • A worksite permit must be issued to remove friable asbestos
  • All licenced contractors have to be able to give you a copy of their licence, you should ask to see their licence when hiring an asbestos removalist to ensure they have a current licence
  • 10 square metres is equivalent to the size of a typical bedroom wall in an average home or about the size of a small bathroom or an outside toilet or shed
  • All licenced contractors must be able to give you a copy of their current licence - ask to see their licence when hiring an asbestos removalist
  • It is illegal to bury asbestos on your own property
  • All asbestos must be legally disposed of at a lawful landfill site.

Armidale Regional Council's 'Waste Transfer Facility' on Long Swamp Road can accept asbestos. Asbestos is NOT accepted at any Guyra waste facility. Minimum charge has been recently lowered to $50. Please call the facility before-hand on  6772 7090 to arrange for disposal.

For more information please visit the EPA website.

Managing Asbestos when demolishing buildings

All demolition is to be carried out in accordance with AS2601 - Demolition of Structures, to ensure the work is undertaken safely and as required pursuant to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000, allowing for:

  • A competent person to determine the presence of any hazardous substances or conditions in the structure, and all parts of the site, which may be hazardous to the health of the site personnel or the public if disturbed by the stripping or demolition.
  • Work involving bonded asbestos removal work (of an area of more than 10 square metres) or friable asbestos removal work must be undertaken by a person who carries on a business of such removal work in accordance with a licence under clause 318 of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation 2001. The principal certifying authority must be provided with a copy of a signed contract with such a person before any development pursuant to the development consent commences. Any such contract must indicate whether any bonded asbestos material or friable asbestos material will be removed, and if so, must specify the landfill site (that may lawfully receive asbestos) to which the bonded asbestos material or friable asbestos material is to be delivered.
  • The nature and location of each hazard shall be recorded and both the record and proposed method on controlling hazards shall be addressed in a Hazardous Substances Management Plan and included in the contract documentation.
  • The appropriate display of signs containing the words "Danger Asbestos Removal in Progress" will be at a prominent position at the front of the premises.

More information can be found at NSW WorkCover.

Basic information for home owners and asbestos