The Illawarra Shoalhaven Joint Organisation (ISJO) is hoping a grant-funded program for free asbestos collection from households will help reduce illegal dumping in the region.
On behalf of three of its member councils - Wollongong, Shellharbour and Kiama - ISJO is offering eligible residents free asbestos collection and disposal on small amounts of loose, non-friable asbestos lying dormant on residential properties. Non-friable asbestos may not be crumbled, pulverised or reduced to powder by hand pressure when dry.
The program, which is a pilot for regional NSW, is funded by the NSW EPA waste levy as part of the Waste Less, Recycle More initiative and begins on Monday, 1 November 2021. ISJO’s Illegal Dumping Prevention Coordinator James Vincent, who will oversee the program, says the aim is to reduce the amount of asbestos being illegally dumped in the region while educating the community about options for safe removal and disposal.
“The illegal dumping of asbestos is a major problem which can have serious health and environmental impacts on our communities,” he said.
“People are often unaware of how to correctly dispose of asbestos they have on their property and have the perception that disposal options are costly so they either leave it sitting around, dump it or chip away at it and dispose of it through their red bin collection service which can then contaminate landfill sites.
“With this program we will arrange for a qualified contractor to collect up to nine (9) square metres of easily accessible, non-friable asbestos that has already been removed from a structure and is lying dormant on the property. There will be no cost to the resident for this collection or disposal.
“The service is not available for current or future renovations on houses.”
Mr Vincent said the program would also provide an opportunity for councils to collect feedback from the community about their knowledge of asbestos collection options, reasons for stockpiling asbestos on their property, and disposal intentions. Community engagement sessions will also be held across the region during coming weeks.
To take the Asbestos Collection pre-qualifying survey, please click here.
This project is a NSW Environment Protection Authority, Waste Less, Recycle More initiative from the waste levy.