Deadly asbestos dumped in skip
WHEN Col Lovejoy looked into his worksite industrial bin he was shocked to see a large load of fibrous asbestos sheeting had been dumped in it.
The Gracemere builder said yesterday that he had seen everything from television boxes to grass clippings thrown into his onsite bins in the past, but never a potentially deadly form of waste.
“I know someone has dumped it because they don't want to pay the increased dump fees, and it costs more to get rid of asbestos,” said Col, who has been in the building industry for 41 years.
Col said he spoke with Rockhampton Regional Council yesterday and had reported the incident to police soon after it had been dumped on Monday.
He said the council told him to pay to take it to the tip himself, although by law you need an asbestos removal licence when removing 10 sq m or more.
“I shouldn't have to pay to get rid of it,” Col said.
“We just want to know where it came from and why no one is investigating this.”
The 56-year-old, who is the area manager of Bundaberg-based Chris Warren Homes and has lived in Gracemere since 2007, said he was building when the potentially toxic silicate mineral was commonly used in the past and the dangers were unknown.
To prevent the dangerous fibres from potentially affecting onsite workers, Col has covered the bin with a plastic tarpaulin.
He said Workplace Health and Safety told him the asbestos had to be removed by midday today or a fine would be issued.
Yesterday he spoke with the local Gracemere landfill.
“They've given us plastic bags and I need to get suits to be able to bag it up and dump it for free,” Col said.
Council said residents could take up to 250kg of asbestos to the region's landfill with the condition that it was wet down, double bagged and marked as asbestos.
The council charges $214.50 a tonne to dump asbestos.ASBESTOS LAWS
Queensland Government asbestos laws put in place in 2007:
• When removing 10 sq m or more, you need an asbestos removal licence;
• Safety precautions must always be taken;
• Asbestos waste must be immediately double-bagged in thick plastic, sealed and labelled with a safety warning;
• It must be disposed of at a council-approved site;
• It must never be stored, sold or given away.