Get help on asbestos

Free pick-up: Cumberland Council will take away Greystanes resident Grahame Duerden's asbestos-filled fibro this week. The council offers to pick up pieces of bonded asbestos sheeting and lawfully dispose of it. Picture: Isabella Lettini

Free pick-up: Cumberland Council will take away Greystanes resident Grahame Duerden's asbestos-filled fibro this week. The council offers to pick up pieces of bonded asbestos sheeting and lawfully dispose of it. Picture: Isabella Lettini

Cumberland Council has cleaned up its act on asbestos removal and education.

It’s trialling a new service to offer a limited number of free household asbestos inspections by licensed experts. They are visual assessments only but will help residents understand where asbestos is, or is likely to be in their homes.

The program is for households in the Cumberland LGA that are mostly in original condition and built before 1990. The next inspection days are April 7-8.

The council also offers a free collection/disposal of small amounts of loose bonded asbestos sheets from homes to discourage illegal dumping. Asbestos sheeting  must not exceed 10 square metres per household.

“Asbestos is an issue that is especially important in the Cumberland area because we are made up mainly of suburban areas primarily built over three decades ago,” council interim general manager Malcolm Ryan said.

“It is important that residents get their houses checked or they could be putting themselves in danger. That is why council is offering these free inspections and collections.”

Greystanes resident Grahame Duerden has taken advantage of the free asbestos pick ups.

“It’s a terrific idea,” he said.

“People need to be more aware of asbestos. I had some old pieces of fibro from doing some work in the laundry. My house was built in 1970 so the laundry was wired with fibro.”

Mr Duerden would have been forced to find and pay for a specialist contractor if the free council pick ups weren’t available.

“The minimum price was $140 to get rid of it,” he said.

“You can’t take it to the tip anymore.”

The council will hold two sessions in May for residents to find out what asbestos could be located in the home and how to manage it. Participants will receive a free asbestos removal kit.

Details: 9840 9664 or go to asbestosanswers.com.au.

  • Asbestos is a silicate mineral which was added to building materials. Most asbestos is non-friable, which you are most likely to encounter during home maintenance and renovation projects. The fibres make you sick if you inhale them and can take decades to develop into an asbestos-related disease.
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