Asbestos is the name given to a group of naturally occurring minerals. Asbestos fibres are strong, heat resistant and have insulating properties.
Asbestos products can be found in any Australian home - even brick, weatherboard, fibro and clad homes - built or renovated before 1987. Products made from bonded asbestos cement include:
- fibro sheeting (flat and corrugated) in walls and ceilings
- water drainage and flue pipes
- roofing shingles and guttering
- the backing of floor coverings
The use of all forms of asbestos has been banned nationally since 31 December 2003.
Building products containing asbestos are classified as friable (soft and crumbly) or bonded (solid, rigid, non-friable). Friable asbestos products are dangerous because the fibres can become airborne easily and may be inhaled by people living or working in the vicinity.
The health risk of undisturbed asbestos products in the home is very low. Asbestos becomes a health risk when its fibres are released into the air and breathed in. Airborne asbestos fibres are not visible to the naked eye and are released when material is broken or cut.
IMPORTANT: If fire, hail, or water blasting damages bonded asbestos, it may become friable and must be managed and removed by a licensed friable asbestos removal contractor.
How to safely dispose of asbestos
If you use the appropriate safety precautions, you are permitted to remove a maximum of 10 square metres of bonded asbestos in NSW. If removing more than 10 square metres, you must either hire a qualified asbestos removalist or obtain a NSW Workcover bonded asbestos removal licence, which requires you to attend an appropriate training course run by a registered training organisation. Refer to the NSW Workcover Fact Sheet Bonded Asbestos for more information.
For asbestos loads weighing more than 100kg or consisting of more than 10 square metres of asbestos sheeting, a consignment number must be generated using the NSW EPA WasteLocate website tracking and reporting system.
Any friable asbestos must be removed by a qualified asbestos removalist and cannot be removed by the homeowner.
Asbestos can be disposed of at our Buttonderry and Woy Woy Waste Management Facilities. For more information on asbestos disposal, visit our Waste Facilities page.
It doesn't pay to dump
Report illegal dumping of asbestos waste to Central Coast Council on 1300 463 954.