Illegal disposal of asbestos

Date created: Date modified: 23 Apr 2024

Action on Illegal Disposal of Asbestos - A Guide for Local Government

Who is this guide for?

This guide is for the local government sector, specifically council workers who have any role in preventing and addressing illegal asbestos disposal.

Councils have an important role to play in eliminating or minimising the risks caused by illegal asbestos disposal, as one of the first places the community will turn to for help.

The focus of this guide is largely to reduce illegal disposal of asbestos waste from residents, but the principles and actions can also apply to the commercial asbestos waste sector.

What is this guide about?

Illegally disposed asbestos is a risk to public health and the environment. This guide has been developed to assist councils manage and control the risks that arise from illegal asbestos disposal in a complex regulatory environment.

This guide provides examples of practical actions councils can take to prevent illegal asbestos disposal, based on best practice examples of what councils are already doing. It brings together the experiences of individual councils, and regional collaborations between councils, across Australia.

There are steps that all councils can take, no matter how small or limited in resources, to prevent illegal asbestos disposal. Every action taken at a local level is a positive step in ensuring the health and safety of their workers and the community.

Previous ASEA research

Our current research extends on a previous report commissioned by ASEA in 2015 and published in 2016—Illegal asbestos dumping: review of issues and initiatives. This work highlighted the cost to the community of illegal asbestos disposal, finding a significant lack of awareness among DIY home renovators about the dangers to themselves, the community and the environment from the illegal behaviour. This not only informed the direction of ASEA’s subsequent research into the illegal asbestos disposal, but also influenced the focus of the agency’s ongoing asbestos awareness campaigns.