Disposal of asbestos containing materials (ACW)
1. The Following advice applies to England but may not apply to Wales or Scotland
2.1. The asbestos containing waste (ACW) must be consigned as soon as possible
in a safe manner by a registered waste carrier to a dump licensed to take asbestos.
There are two exceptions to this rule, which are listed below:
2.2. One of the new requirements under these regulations is "Where hazardous waste is produced at or removed from, any premises other than exempt premises, the premises must be notified to the Environment Agency". This means that any business producing hazardous waste has a legal duty to register with the Environment agency any premises where hazardous waste is produced. Each premises registered will be given a unique registration number - known as a 'premises code'. This new regulation does not fully apply to householders, see para 5
2.3. Premises exempt from notification, providing they produce less than 500kg
in any 12 month period are:
2.4. The only other time that notification is not required for the premises
that produce the waste is where a contractor removing the ACW has registered
his main address and he then runs a mobile service. He does not have to notify
the Environment Agency that he runs a mobile service. There are two restrictions
to this rule.
2.5. Contractors who regularly work with ACMs on domestic or agricultural buildings
may find it worthwhile to be registered so that they do not have to register
each site from where they remove ACMs. There is though the 500kg maximum in
any 12 month period to be considered.
2.6. Registration can be carried out by phone on 08708 502858 at a cost of
£23.00, on the internet at
3. Offices or shops ACW.
3.1. The waste produced must be consigned as soon as possible by a registered waste carrier to a dump licensed to take ACW.
3.2. There is no need to notify the environment agency as long as:
3.3. Where more than 500kg is produced in any 12 month period, then the Environment Agency must be notified. See 2.6
4. Agricultural ACW
4.1. Disposal of agricultural ACW is the same as ACW disposal from shops and
offices (see para 2), with the following exceptions:
5. Domestic ACW.
5.1. The Regulations apply to asbestos which is also domestic waste. However the Regulations do not impose any obligations on a person who is the original producer of the waste and who either resides at the domestic premises where it was produced or on a person who is acting on behalf of the resident and who does this without reward.
5.2. Examples of persons to whom this relates are:
5.3. This means that there is a difference between ACW produced by DIY and ACW produced by a contractor carrying out paid work on behalf of the house holder
5.4. Domestic ACW produced during DIY
5.4.1. The Government has asked local Authorities to make facilities available
for the disposal of domestic ACW, by setting up amenity sites where domestic
ACW can be taken free of charge. If the local authority also sets up a collection
service then they can and should charge a reasonable price for the service.
In some cases it is the county council and in others the local authority that
sets up collection points/amenity sites for domestic ACW. It is up to the householder
to arrange for the materials to be delivered to the collection point, with the
restriction given in para 5.2.
5.5. Domestic ACW produced by a Contractor
5.5.1. Where the ACW is produced by a contractor who is engaged by the householder
to undertake any construction, modification, repair and maintenance or demolition
of his premises, then the Regulations do apply to the contractor, and so he
will have to notify the Environment Agency see 1.6, unless the contractor is
registered himself and the waste produced from the household in any 12 month
period is less than 500 kg.
6. All other sources of ACW.
6.1. ACW from all other sources will have to be consigned to a dump licensed to take ACW by a registered waste carrier and have obtained a premises number from the Environment agency.
7.1. The majority of buildings built prior to 1985 and a large number after that date contain asbestos; it is likely that the majority of ACMs will not be removed by the householder. Since few fitters, plumbers, building or roofing contractors have mobile registration this will mean that some 100,000s of buildings in the UK will need to be registered with the Environment Agency over the coming years, unless there is a reasonable interpretation of what local authorities will allow to be dumped by the ‘householder’ at their amenity sites. Personally I cannot see how the high cost of recording all these buildings from which asbestos has to be removed can be justified, as it is unlikely to help the environment, in fact it could be argued that the extra paper produced and the computers required to run the system, will make the whole exercise counter productive, in environmental terms.
7.2. There is also the risk that the number of instances of ‘fly tipping’ might well increase if Local Authorities strictly enforce the regulation that any contractor working for a domestic client will need to notify and employ a registered waste carrier to remove the waste. At an extreme, this means that a fitter, the majority of whom are not registered to carry waste, replacing an old boiler, that entails the removal of a length of asbestos cement flue pipe, will have to have a skip on site which will cost some hundreds of pounds. There is a risk that the disreputable will charge the house holder for the disposal but take the flue pipe himself and ‘fly tip’ it, pocketing the extra profit.
7.3. The differential between DIY and employing a contractor, means that if a house holder decides to use a contractor either by choice or disability, the contractor will have to register the property with the Environment Agency, unless he is one of the few that runs a mobile service; they will also have to employ a registered waste carrier to take the ACM to a licensed dump, this large extra cost will of course have to be borne by the householder. Where the householder is disabled this could be seen to be counter to the Disability Discrimination Act.
7.4. If we look at the difference in cost of a house holder taking down his
own garage and taking the sheets to an amenity site, and employing a contractor
to do the work for him, the difference is going to be some hundreds of pounds,
extra for the asbestos disposal. This is a strong incentive for the house holder
to do the work himself; I am not sure that this is in the best interest of Health
and Safety. The taking down of a garage has a number of risks associated with
it, such as working at height, lifting heavy weights, premature collapse, asbestos
dust etc, which a competent contractor will be able to control far better than
many DIY enthusiasts.
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