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Hazardous waste disposal - asbestos

Advice about how to safely dispose of asbestos and storage heaters containing asbestos in Dorset.

What is asbestos?

Asbestos was widely used as a building material in the UK between the 1950s and the mid-1980s. It was also used in night storage heaters.

Any building built before 2000 can contain asbestos. Asbestos materials in good condition are safe unless they are damaged and asbestos fibres become airborne.

When asbestos fibres are inhaled they can cause serious diseases, which are responsible for around 4,500 deaths a year.  Asbestos is regarded as the greatest single cause of work-related deaths in the UK.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has more information about asbestos (opens in a new window), including examples of what asbestos looks like (opens in a new window).

Asbestos disposal for Dorset businesses

Businesses including builders, plumbers and other tradespeople are responsible for disposing of the waste they generate by using a properly licensed hazardous waste contractor.

Asbestos disposal for Dorset households

Waste from building or demolition work by householders, such as replacing a garage roof, is considered industrial waste rather than household waste. It is against the law to put any industrial asbestos waste in your household rubbish collection. Cement-bonded asbestos generated this way needs to be disposed of properly via collection specialists. See below for details.

Asbestos collection specialists in Dorset

If you are unable to transport household asbestos waste yourself to a licensed household recycling centre, you can pay to have asbestos waste collected by a hazardous waste contractor.

Asbestos disposal at licensed household recycling centres in Dorset

Cement-bonded household asbestos waste can be accepted at certain household recycling centres but only in situations when if it has been found at the house (e.g. it was buried whilst doing the garden), not as part of building or demolition work.

It can be accepted at four household recycling centres in Dorset. These are:

Please follow this advice carefully when taking asbestos to a Dorset household recycling centre:

  • You are limited to a one-off drop of up to three sheets of cement-bonded asbestos measuring no more than 6ft x 4ft
  • The asbestos must be double-bagged
  • On arrival at the site, immediately inform a member of staff that you are carrying asbestos

If you would like more advice about disposing of asbestos, contact the Dorset Waste Partnership.

Disposal of storage heaters in Dorset

Storage heaters containing asbestos

Storage heaters containing asbestos can be accepted at Christchurch, Blandford, Wareham and Weymouth household recycling cent. 

On arrival at the site, immediately inform a member of staff that you are carrying asbestos.

Storage heaters not containing asbestos

Storage heaters which do not contain asbestos are accepted at all Dorset household recycling centres.  Please put it in the metals container for recycling.

Advice about handling asbestos

Only a licensed asbestos removal contractor may remove sprayed asbestos, lagging and insulating boards.

For more information, visit the Health and Safety Executive website (opens in a new window).

Is there asbestos in your home?

Your home may contain materials made from asbestos if it is more than 15 years old. Properties built since the mid-1980s are very unlikely to contain asbestos and those built after 1990 are extremely unlikely to contain asbestos anywhere in the building. Asbestos cement has been widely used as a cladding material and can still be found in garages and sheds.

It is not always easy to tell whether a product contains asbestos but it may be found in the following:

  • storage heaters
  • asbestos lagging
  • warm air heating systems
  • insulating boards
  • sprayed asbestos
  • asbestos cement
  • textured plasters
  • materials for stippling ceilings and walls

If you think products contain asbestos but are unsure, the manufacturer or supplier should be able to help you. 

Day-to-day exposure to asbestos

There is a very low level of fibres in the air everywhere because is has been used so widely in the past. Exposure to this level of asbestos is unlikely to harm people's health.

When doing DIY, avoid raising dust (for example, by sanding or drilling) when working with materials that might contain asbestos. If in doubt, do not touch it.

The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012

The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 (opens in a new window) came into force on 6 April 2012, updating previous asbestos regulations.  As a result of this the explicit duty to manage asbestos in non-domestic premises remains, helping to tackle the biggest occupational health killer in the UK.

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