Asbestos waste levy is scraped to encourage correct disposal

The NSW government is trialing a new scheme that will see the scraping of waste levy on the disposal of asbestos from home renovations in an effort to stop the illegal dumping of this deadly material on the city streets.

The Environment Minister Robyn Parker will also ­announced last month that, under the new $3 million trial scheme, the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) will be paying $50 towards the cost of removing and transporting asbestos to tips and landfill sites.

In NSW, asbestos dumping has ­become a major concern despite new laws that now see people caught illegally dumping asbestos face imprisonment instead of a fine.

Currently there is a waste levy, which is charged at tips and landfill sites and costs $107.80 per tonne in Sydney and $53.70 a tonne in regional NSW.

One of the most costly and infamous asbestos dumpings that caused a statewide outrage was a tip truck dumping two tonnes of deadly asbestos material outside a pair of daycare centres on Wattle Lane at Ultimo in inner Sydney last December. This incident has taken over two days to clean up at a cost of $13,000.

Part of this trial, the asbestos waste levy will be suspended over a 12-month trial in at least 10 local government areas. These government areas have yet to be decided. If this trial is successful it is likely that the scheme will be expanded.

Ms Parker said the EPA would waive the asbestos levy to a maximum of 6500 tonnes over the 12 months, and the $50 contribution per tonne ­towards the cost and removal of asbestos would also be capped at 6500 tonnes.

“The scheme is open to residents for small residential amounts of asbestos and licensed asbestos removalists on behalf of a resident for larger amounts,” a spokesman for Ms Parker said. “Unlicensed removalists are ineligible.”

The spokesman said the scheme was a trial in which methods of disposal of asbestos would be tested and so would not include all landfills.