Hardly a week goes by when there isn’t a report from somewhere in the UK about fly-tippers illegally dumping asbestos waste. Often it turns up close to footpaths or on country lanes. Sometimes it is even dumped at night in the middle of town and cities.
Local residents are appalled and politicians vent their fury. But usually the fly-tippers can’t be found and it falls to the landowner to pay for the clean-up. On the highways this is the taxpayer. In the countryside it is the farmer.
How asbestos waste ought to be disposed of
Local authorities tightly control access to municipal recycling and waste disposal centres. A special appointment is required to deposit asbestos waste, which has to be carefully bagged and sealed. Commercial businesses have to pay landfill taxes to deposit it, and legitimate ones are happy to do this.
How to stop fly-tipping from happening
The only way to stop the fly-tipping of asbestos waste is to make sure customers only use legitimate firms to remove it. If the price someone quotes for removing asbestos waste seems too good to be true customers should proceed with caution. Ask where the asbestos will be taken. Be especially wary if the contractor isn’t carefully bagging and sealing it. And if in doubt, ring the local Council to check that the contractor is doing the right thing.
Report fly-tippers if you can
If you see someone apparently off-loading waste onto the highway or in the countryside, try – if you can do so safely – to take the vehicle’s number plate and report it to the local Council and the police.