Asbestos contaminated a truck-load of recycling in the Richmond Valley Council area.
Asbestos contaminated a truck-load of recycling in the Richmond Valley Council area.

Testing kit keeps asbestos in the bag

NORTH East Waste's Household Asbestos Testing Program, delivered to six local councils, is a finalist in this year's Local Government NSW Excellence in Environment Awards. This year the awards celebrate twenty years of inspiration from NSW, recognising outstanding achievements by local government in managing and protecting the environment across 15 award categories.

The asbestos testing program was initiated by North East Waste in response to data collected across the Northern Rivers that showed a significant increase in asbestos incorrectly presented to the waste facilities.

"Home owners undertaking their own renovations were turning up at the landfill unaware that the materials they had removed contained asbestos. This was not only a posing a health risk for the home owners but also the staff at the waste facility who sort the waste,” the NE Waste project co-ordinator Tash Morton said.

The asbestos testing program was an extension of the Household Asbestos Disposal Kit program initiated in 2015 to assist householders with disposing of small quantities of asbestos safely. Both programs are now run by Byron, Ballina, Lismore, Kyogle, Clarence Valley and Richmond Valley Councils.

Residents are provided with a mask and sample bags, instructions and a pre-paid satchel to post their samples to the asbestos testing company. The results of the test are then emailed to the resident with information.

Ms Perry, a local Lismore council resident, expressed gratitude for the program: "I will be contracting a licensed removalist when I am ready to start the process. Your information is most helpful. Many thanks”

"The program is the first of its kind in Australia being run by Local Government - I'm incredibly proud of the work Tash has done and happy to be recognised for our initiative”, NEW Coordinator, Jeanie Mckillop said.

For further information on where to pick up the household asbestos testing or disposal kits contact your local council or visit the council websites.



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