Byron Shire Council has urged the public to keep an eye out after asbestos was found dumped close to a creek bed.
Byron Shire Council has urged the public to keep an eye out after asbestos was found dumped close to a creek bed.

‘No regard for human health’: asbestos dumped near creek

BYRON Shire Council has asked residents to be vigilant after illegally-dumped asbestos was found at Wilsons Creek.

Between 40 and 50kg of the hazardous material was found about 150m from a creek bed on Parmenters Rd last month.

The council’s waste education compliance officer, Kate Akkerman, said the implications of such an act were well-documented and constituted a serious crime.

“For someone to dump this asbestos with no regard for human health or the impact on the environment is absolutely disgraceful and anyone with information is asked to contact Council,” Ms Akkerman said.

Byron Shire Council has urged the public to keep an eye out after asbestos was found dumped close to a creek bed.
Byron Shire Council has urged the public to keep an eye out after asbestos was found dumped close to a creek bed.

“The fines for this sort of thing are around $2 million for corporations and $500,000 for individuals and this is an indication of the importance of disposing of asbestos safely.

“We were notified by a local resident who suspected it was asbestos and we investigated immediately.

“Luckily we got it cleaned up before the heavy rain.”

The material was disposed of at the Stotts Creek waste facility in the Tweed Shire, as the Byron Resource Recovery Centre isn’t licenced to accept asbestos.

Ms Akkerman said the council does, however, offer free testing kits for people to confirm whether or not material or around their homes contains asbestos.

The kits can be collected from the council’s administration centre in Mullumbimby.

“There are instructions in the test kit telling people how to take a sample and send it to a laboratory to get tested,” Ms Akkerman said.

“The results normally come back from the laboratory fairly quickly and depending what they show, people can either start work or alternatively take steps to have the asbestos managed and removed.”

Asbestos removal kits, available for use on areas less than 10 square metres, are available at the council’s Resource Recover Centre at Myocum.

Larger areas of asbestos must be removed by a licenced contractor.

If you need to dispose of asbestos, visit www.epa.nsw.gov.au.