Disposing of asbestos safely

Our guidance explains how to dismantle an asbestos garage with the minimum of risk to yourself and your family.

If you don't feel confident performing doing the work yourself (after reading this advice), we recommend that you contact a licensed asbestos removal contractor for advice.

A list of qualified contractors is available from these trade associations:

Further information about working with asbestos is available from Health and Safety Executive or our Health and Safety Team.

Asbestos risks

Asbestos cement sheeting

Asbestos cement sheeting is commonly found as grey corrugated or flat sheets. It is thin and brittle and produces a clean edge when broken. It contains a small amount of asbestos encapsulated within cement, which, in good condition, does not normally present a risk to health.

Asbestos fibres are released when the cement sheeting becomes broken or is drilled, sawn, scrubbed or sanded. The fibres can then become airborne, which can be easily inhaled and cause damage to the lungs. Asbestos fibres are known to cause a cancer which in all cases kills.

Please remember that any work on asbestos cement garages may generate airborne asbestos fibres. These  precautions are given in good faith but all operations with asbestos are undertaken at the your own risk.

Other types of asbestos

Other asbestos products, that tend to be found in the home, include insulation board, asbestolux plasterboard, and insulation surrounding warm air heating systems.

These products present more risk to health due to the location in which they are found and the type of asbestos involved.

In order to minimise risk to your family’s health we would strongly recommend that you contact a suitably qualified, licensed asbestos removal contractor for advice.

Carrying out the work yourself

Before you start

Read these instructions carefully, plan the job and ensure you have the following items to hand:

  • strong polythene and parcel tape
  • white disposable overalls to wear during the operation
  • disposable dust mask suitable for work with asbestos (Certified to EN149 or EN405 Protection Factor FFP3)
  • a hose and a supply of water
  • a small hand drill or hand saw
  • spanner for undoing bolts

Dismantling the garage

Do:

  • prevent children, or anyone else who may be affected by the work, from entering the immediate work area
  • wear a suitable disposable dust mask to prevent inhalation of asbestos fibres
  • wear disposable overalls. These should be taken off before re-entering the house. These overalls will prevent asbestos fibres clinging to your clothes where they could cause contamination
  • carry out all dismantling operations on firm level ground that can be hosed down afterwards
  • wet all sheeting prior to and during any dismantling operations. This will help prevent asbestos fibres becoming airborne 
  • where panels are to be removed, thoroughly wet the area around the fixings with water and detergent
  • if fixings are difficult to undo, try to cut the fixing off rather than break the asbestos
  • use a wet disposable rag to clean up any dust residues
  • wrap all asbestos cement waste (including small pieces, rag and used overalls) in a double layer of strong polythene prior to transport and disposal. Seal the package using parcel tape
  • ensure you wash your hands thoroughly before handling foodstuffs

Don't:

  • sand down or wire brush the panels
  • deliberately break the panels
  • slide one sheet on top of another
  • use a domestic vacuum cleaner to clean up any asbestos debris
  • ‘dry sweep’ any small pieces of asbestos remaining on the ground after dismantling the garage. Instead use a hose and brush to move any pieces into one place, prior to using a shovel to pick up the asbestos and dispose of the brush with the asbestos

Where to dispose of bonded asbestos

Residents can dispose of wrapped asbestos at Hazel Court Household Waste Recycling Centre.

Please be aware that there is a charge for this service.

Before bringing asbestos to Hazel Court HWRC please read the following information carefully, to ensure your asbestos will be accepted:

  • all pieces of asbestos should be double wrapped in heavy duty plastic, this does not include plastic such as bin liners or carrier bags
  • the double wrapped plastic does not need to be clear, but you should ensure that nothing is protruding from inside the plastic as this will not be accepted
  • you should soak large pieces before breaking it down to bring on to site - this stops fibres escaping

This facility is only for householders only - we cannot accept asbestos from traders and businesses because our waste management licence does not permit this.

Any business that tries to use Hazel Court to dispose of asbestos will be turned away from the site and may also be committing a criminal offence. Separate advice on the disposal of asbestos by commercial operators can be obtained from the Environment Agency.

Transporting asbestos

Should you decide to transfer your asbestos to Hazel Court HWRC yourself we recommend that you transport asbestos:

  • on a roof rack
  • in a trailer
  • on the back of a pick up type vehicle
  • not in an enclosed vehicle, unless there is a separate cab and cargo bay

If you do not have access to this type of transport and you can use a skip company instead. You'll need to ensure the company is willing to take the asbestos waste. The skip company will also need to provide you with a valid consignment note and be a registered carrier of waste. Further information on these subjects is available from the Environment Agency.

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