Domestic cleaning chronicles

What Are the Laws Regarding Asbestos Disposal in Queensland?

by Grace Dunn

As a highly hazardous substance, many aspects of asbestos in Australia are regulated, including laws for its disposal that differ slightly from state to state. From how the material should be transported, to the amount of asbestos that can be dumped, and other authority that may be required to dump or transport asbestos, this article will explain the laws for asbestos disposal in Queensland, including what fines and other penalties apply for failing to meet relevant asbestos disposal laws.

Where can asbestos be legally disposed of?

Asbestos must be disposed at a site equipped to handle dangerous waste such as a regulated landfill facility. These facilities are operated by local councils throughout Queensland. Before disposing of asbestos at these facilities, it's a good idea to contact your local waste transfer station and enquire if there are any additional conditions about disposal they may have, such as a cap on the amount that can be disposed of, or the time of day asbestos is accepted, as well as how much it will cost.

The other legal option to dispose asbestos is to hire an environmental skip bin with a plastic lining. A company who holds an environmental authority to transport hazardous waste can only provide this.

Can you dispose of asbestos yourself?

Individuals can dispose of up to 250kg of asbestos waste (about one quarter of a trailer) if doing so on a non-commercial basis and basically not profiting from the service. Businesses who work with asbestos indirectly as a result of their activities such as builders or plumbers whose main duties do not relate to asbestos removal or disposal are also permitted to dispose of up to 250kg asbestos themselves.

Commercial operations that charge customers to remove and dispose asbestos where transportation is a key component of their business must hold an environmental authority certificate. These commercial businesses are also obligated to record and submit tracking information of asbestos waste.

How should you prepare asbestos before disposal?

It's likely that asbestos will not be accepted at a waste facility unless it has been properly double wrapped in plastic sheeting or plastic bags. All bags should be labelled with a warning such as DANGER—ASBESTOS WASTE or something similar.

What other rules should I be aware of?

It is illegal to dispose of asbestos in any other way than the methods outlined in this article, including burying, dumping, storing or offering for sale (or for free) asbestos containing materials. If asbestos waste has been found to be illegally dumped, significant fines under the Waste Reduction and Recycling Act (2011) with the maximum penalty under Queensland for infringing asbestos regulations up to $40,000.

To stay updated on any changes, contact asbestos disposal services.