DANGER: Southern Downs Mayor Tracy Dobie wants to raise awareness about the dangers of asbestos.
DANGER: Southern Downs Mayor Tracy Dobie wants to raise awareness about the dangers of asbestos. File

In dark on asbestos

SOUTHERN Downs Mayor Tracy Dobie is worried residents are not fully aware of the dangers of asbestos.

The Glen Aplin and Pozieres waste facilities were closed in September due to illegal dumping of asbestos containing material.

"We have had situations where it has been disposed of possibly accidentally," Cr Dobie said.

"There are situations that the environmental staff have found in their facilities where the asbestos has been hidden in the facility... indicating that it has been deliberately disposed of illegally."

Cr Dobie said the illegal disposal of ACM indicated a need for better education.

Her message is timely as this week is Asbestos Awareness week and SDRC has jumped on board the Queensland Government Workplace Health and Safety campaign to help educate locals about safely working with ACM.

"I think we've lost that awareness of it so I think it's great that now the government.... is doing a lot this week to raise the awareness," Cr Dobie said.

She said the campaign targeted three groups: professional house renovators, residents who found ACM while renovating and residents unaware they were working with ACM.

"We rely and trust on those who are doing the work professionally to do the right thing," she said.

"If you dump it illegally then you are putting other people at risk and that is unfair, regardless of what the cost may be to you of disposing of it properly."

Stanthorpe Waste Facility is not accepting ACM. The council is upgrading the facility to begin accepting ACM in Stanthorpe in December.

Residents can dispose of ACM at the Warwick Waste Facility.

"There is nowhere in the Southern Downs that is too far away that you would not do the right thing to dispose of asbestos," Cr Dobie said.

"Dumping asbestos is bad for the environment and bad for humans."

Asbestos Quick Facts

 

Houses built before mid-1980s and up until 1990 are likely to have asbestos containing material (ACM).

 

ACM can be found all around the house including in roofing, vinyl flooring, sheeting in bathrooms and kitchens, pools and exterior walls.

 

Residents are highly recommended to engage professional builders or asbestos removalists when working with ACM.

 

When working with asbestos always wear either a half-face filter respirator or a disposable p2 mask. Disposable coveralls should also be worn. Smooth, non-slip, closed-in footwear is preferable to plastic overshoes to avoid slipping.

 

When handling or removing asbestos wet down the material before starting and regularly during work by spraying a 1:10 polyvinyl acetate (PVA) water solution and keep it wet until packaged.

ACM must be packaged into two layers of 0.2mm thick polythene sheeting, sealed and labelled.

 

ACM must be transported to the Warwick Waste Facility at Old Stanthorpe Rd, Warwick. The Stanthorpe waste facility is due to start accepting small quantities in December.

 

Small quantities of ACM are free to dispose of. Commercial quantities are $98 per tonne.

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