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How is asbestos waste disposed of and destroyed?

Posted on by Asbestos Waste Solutions Limited

From floor tiles and pipe insulation to roofing materials and cement, thousands of asbestos-containing products were manufactured up until it was banned in 1999, when its hazardous properties were widely publicised.

As a result of its extensive use during the 1960s through to the 1980s, there is still a high risk that people in certain industries – such as construction and plumbing – may encounter asbestos-containing materials in their line of work.

Although undisturbed asbestos poses little threat, in cases where it may be disturbed – such as during refurbishment – any asbestos containing materials will need to be removed.

Following on from our article last month on how to remove asbestos from your property, this article will serve to explain how the asbestos waste is disposed of and destroyed.

Transporting asbestos

According to documentation recently updated by the Environment Agency, hazardous waste ‘must be double-bagged except where waste will not fit into a bag when it must be securely wrapped. Bagged or wrapped waste must be stored within secure, lockable containers.’ As such, the following methods are the safest ways to transport asbestos waste to licensed landfill sites, so the risk of it being disturbed is controlled:

  1. Asbestos skips

Once the asbestos has been removed and double bagged by a professional in line with the approved codes of practice, it is then sealed in a lockable skip to be directly transported and disposed of at a licensed landfill site.

Available in a range of sizes depending on the scale of the project, asbestos skips will ensure asbestos-contaminated waste is stored safely and securely before it is disposed of at landfill.

  1. Transfer station

For a smaller volume of asbestos waste, hiring the expertise of a professional asbestos disposal company with a licensed transfer station may be better suited. Similar to skip hire, the asbestos waste must firstly be removed according to the relevant codes of practice and double bagged or wrapped. However, for transportation to transfer stations, the waste will then be placed in a separate compartment, such as a specialist van.

Once the vehicle has arrived at the transfer station, the waste is then transferred from the van’s sealed area or container into a locked skip at a licensed site.  

Disposing of asbestos

Hiring the expertise of an asbestos disposal company will ensure all asbestos waste is disposed of safely and using the correct methods.

When choosing a company to move the waste for you, you must make sure that they are a registered waste carrier and check that they are transporting the waste to a site with a waste management licence or permit which proves they are fully authorised to receive it. It’s worth noting that dumping asbestos waste illegally will lead to a hefty fine or possible prison sentence.

Destroying asbestos

In these climate-conscious times, experts have been searching for a more eco-friendly waste management solution. As such, several projects have found ways of successfully destroying all traces of hazardous waste by completely destroying the asbestos found in building materials.

For example, the ABCOV® method uses physical/chemical processes to destroy current and future asbestos liability, while the EU-funded Amiante project uses a reactor system to destroy the hazardous fibre, boasting no negative impact on the environment or human health.

As these methods are not yet used in the UK, burying asbestos waste in landfill is currently the only legal final destination available.

Asbestos Waste Solutions

As a registered waste carrier, all work carried out by the qualified experts here at Asbestos Waste Solutions is done so safely and efficiently. Whether you are an Asbestos Removal Company, Building Contractor or member of the general public, we will make sure all of your asbestos waste is transported to landfill safely. Our comprehensive range of services include:

  • Asbestos skips
  • Transfer station
  • Asbestos identification
  • Quantification testing

For professional advice or to find out more about any of our services, simply get in touch with us today!

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