LEGAL WASTE: While Lismore City Council's Waste and Resource Recovery Facility is building a new landfill cell, residents are advised to check the EPA website for nearby legal places to take this waste.
LEGAL WASTE: While Lismore City Council's Waste and Resource Recovery Facility is building a new landfill cell, residents are advised to check the EPA website for nearby legal places to take this waste. File

Asbestos no longer accepted at Lismore waste facility

RESIDENTS who are renovating their homes in the Lismore area will need to look elsewhere to legally dispose of asbestos waste.

Lismore City Council has announced its waste and resource recovery facility is no longer accepting any asbestos waste until further notice while it creates another landfill cell.

This includes all domestic (including household kits), commercial or any other waste containing asbestos.

The facility's current landfill cell has reached capacity faster than expected and the council is in the process of expanding and constructing a new landfill cell to cope with the growing needs of the community.

A council spokesman said: "The landfill cell (2A) is licensed for all mixed waste, including asbestos. Therefore no specific volumes of asbestos can be calculated".

"Council has been diverting as much other waste as possible from Cell 2A to ensure as much capacity remained as possible for asbestos. However this remaining capacity is now at its limit.

"It is anticipated the new cell (2B) will be operational by the end of the year.  

"The total cost of constructing cell 2B is approximately $2.8 million.  

"Asbestos charges will be as per the advertised draft tender that is currently out for community feedback".  

A council spokesman said they would advise residents when asbestos would again be accepted at its Wyrallah Rd waste facility.

Meanwhile, the council suggested residents go online to the Environment Protection Agency website www.epa.nsw.gov.au (search: 'facilites that accept household asbestos') to check on nearby waste facilities accepting asbestos.

Kyogle Council's general manager Graham Kennet said they accepted household and commercial quantities of asbestos contaminated waste at the Kyogle Landfill Facility only.

Mr Kennett said Kyogle Council will continue to liaise with Lismore as they worked to address their waste management issues.

"While there is some capacity for the Kyogle waste facility to provide an alternative to the Lismore facility in the short term, this would not be sustainable in the medium to long term," he said.

"It is hoped that Lismore are able to put in place alternate arrangements at their own waste facility as soon as possible to ensure this important service is able to be delivered to all residents across the region."

Health experts warn it is vital to take care when removing asbestos as Australia has the second-highest mesothelioma (an aggressive, malignant cancer caused by asbestos exposure) death rate in the world, after the United Kingdom.

More than 10,000 people have died from disease since the early 1980s and cancer experts have predicted an additional 25,000 people are expected to die from it over the next 40 years.

Lismore City Council reminded the community that illegal dumping of asbestos waste is a serious EPA offence and heavy penalties apply. 

Where to dispose of asbestos*

  • Grafton Regional Landfill and Resource Recovery Centre - 6641 4980. $270 a tonne with minimum $27 per 100 kilo.
  • Kyogle Landfill Facility - 66320293. Less than 2 sqm $16, 2-10sqm $87, Over 100kg: $286 per tonne
  • Richmond Valley - 6662 6580 Nammoona Waste and Resource Recovery Facility in Casino. $31 per 100kg and $310 tonne.

* Call at least 24 hours ahead. All asbestos must be double-wrapped in plastic sheeting (minimum of 200 microns thick) or in asbestos waste bags and all openings sealed securely with duct tape. The waste also must be clearly labelled.

More information at http://www.newaste.org.au/asbestos/ and https://www.epa.nsw.gov.au/your-environment/waste/industrial-waste/asbestos-waste