Lismore City Council has urged residents to help hold those illegally dumping asbestos to account.
Lismore City Council has urged residents to help hold those illegally dumping asbestos to account. Lismore City Council

'Totally irresponsible': Who dumped this asbestos?

A NORTHERN Rivers council has renewed calls for anyone with information about recent asbestos dumping incidents.

Lismore City Council's environmental compliance officer Stuart Thomson said they were still investigating the spate of incidents which involved tonnes of the hazardous material.

This included 460kg of asbestos sheeting dumped at Bagotville Rd, Broadwater, yellow sheeting left at Tatham Rd, South Gundurimba between May 4 and 5, 10 sheets of profiled asbestos sheeting dumped at Wyrallah Ferry Rd at Wyrallah between May 30 and 31 and up to two tonnes of the material left on Exton St, North Lismore from June 10 to 12.

After appealing for assistance from the public, Mr Thomson said they had little response.

But he has urged anyone who may have information that could help their investigation to come forward.

"They're all still under investigation," Mr Thomson said.

Mr Thomson said two of the larger dumps involved asbestos-containing material that was cream and brown in colour.

He said anyone who may have seen anything suspicious, whether in vehicles carrying the materials or people removing the asbestos from their prior locations.

"Any information like that it may lead to something else," Mr Thomson said.

"Any information whatsoever ... it's vital."

He said anyone who had undertaken renovations or had employed someone to safely remove the materials could contact the council so his team could ensure they had properly disposed of the asbestos.

"If that's what's occurred ... they've probably been paid a substantial amount of money," he said.

While some residents have slammed the council for making legal asbestos disposal at the tip to expensive, Mr Thomson said this was not the case.

All it took was a phone call beforehand and a fee of $364 a tonne, far less than the hefty fines for improper disposal of asbestos, he said.

He said even the largest piles that were dumped would only cost several hundred dollars to dispose of safely.

"Whilst it is a fair bit of money it's not in the thousands," he said.

He said the council's fee for disposing of asbestos was due to the "hazardous nature of the waste".

He said asbestos was required to be disposed of in a separate landfill cell, as was other hazardous waste.

Mr Thomson urged anyone handling asbestos to do so safely and within the law and condemned the actions of those who dumped the material across the Lismore Shire.

"It's a totally irresponsible act," he said.

"That's why they place such significant penalties on people who dispose of hazardous waste illegally."

Anyone with information about the illegal dumping of hazardous materials like asbestos should contact Mr Thomson on 1300 87 83 87.