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Environment Protection Authority

Environmental Issues

Waste and recycling

Asbestos waste monitoring

The Protection of the Environment Operations (Waste) Regulation 2014 introduces new requirements for waste transporters to record the movement of more than 100 kilograms of asbestos waste or more than 10 square metres of asbestos sheeting.

What problem led to the change?

Exposure to airborne asbestos fibres, even in small quantities, can lead to significant health risks. Whilst environmental risks caused by asbestos are minimal, potential life-threatening illnesses caused by asbestos fibre exposure include asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma.

Illegal dumping of asbestos may lead to increased exposure of individuals to asbestos fibres and thus increase the risk of asbestos-related illnesses. The risk of exposure increases when asbestos is dumped close to communities or sites that people frequently visit.

The changes will increase the EPA’s oversight of the removal, transport and disposal of asbestos waste. They will also strengthen the EPA’s enforcement capabilities and protect human health, which is consistent with the objectives of the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997.

How will these changes affect asbestos waste transporters and asbestos disposal facilities?

The waste regulation requires transporters of asbestos to record information about the movement of loads of asbestos waste from the site of generation to the final disposal point. To make this easy, the EPA has developed an online system called WasteLocate to ensure asbestos waste is disposed of lawfully in NSW and to assist transporters of these materials to fulfill their legal obligations.

WasteLocate uses QR codes, accessible through mobile devices, to monitor the movement of asbestos and tyres from place of generation to a lawful disposal facility.

The WasteLocate page has more information on this new tool and the asbestos flyer explains how it affects the asbestos industry.

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Page last updated: 01 September 2015