Asbestos scare contaminates truck of food, green waste
FOR the second time in two months, a truck load of Tweed's green bin food and garden waste has had to be landfilled due to asbestos contamination.
More than 400 households' worth of waste was contaminated after the hazardous material was placed in a residential green bin last week.
An earlier breach took place in late July and also led to the contamination and landfilling of household green bin food and garden waste.
Landfills costs much more than composting, leaving the shire's tax payers to foot the extra bill.
Sustainable communities and environment director Tracey Stinson said it also created unnecessary risk to Tweed Shire Council staff and undermined the community's recycling efforts.
"Everyone is responsible for their own waste - especially if it is hazardous and unsafe. Not only has this thoughtless act wasted a truckload of green organic material, it could have put people's health at risk," she said.
"With at least one in three Australian homes containing asbestos, if you think an item might be asbestos, it probably is. If you're unsure of what to do, then please call the council on 02 6670 2400 and we can help."
Bin collection trucks in the Tweed are fitted with cameras and drivers are on the lookout for items that are unsafe or may cause contamination.
The council is now investigating the incident.
Asbestos can be safely disposed of at the council's Stotts Creek Resource Recovery Centre, providing strict guidelines are followed and it is less than 10m sq.
It must be wrapped in manageable bundles with two layers of plastic and sealed using adhesive packaging tape to ensure no particles escape into the air.
If you have more than 100kg or 10sq m of asbestos waste to dispose of, this can only be undertaken by a licenced asbestos removal contractor.
In addition, the person transporting the load for disposal must report it to the NSW Environment Protection Agency using WasteLocate.