How Is Asbestos Disposed Of In New Zealand?

For much of the 20th century, asbestos was extensively used as a building material. Prized for its relatively easy availability, affordability, physical strength, and fire resistance, asbestos was long incorporated into such products as asbestos-cement cladding and roofing, insulation board, and ceiling tiles.

It is well-known today that asbestos is an extremely dangerous substance for those who breathe in its fibres. Exposed individuals can be at heightened risk of developing potentially fatal conditions such as mesothelioma or lung cancer. Unsurprisingly, then, the substance is today often removed from properties in NZ.

Asbestos has been subject to greater legal restrictions in New Zealand in recent years. It has been illegal to import blue and brown asbestos into NZ in its raw form since 1984, and on 1st October 2016, it became illegal to import asbestos-containing products into NZ.

If, however, you are looking to remove asbestos from your own NZ property, you might be interested in knowing the answer to the question: how is asbestos disposed of in NZ?

What Are The Disposal Processes For Asbestos In NZ?

Once the process of removing asbestos from a property is done, it will need to be disposed of. The asbestos removalist is required, under NZ law, to make sure asbestos waste is appropriately contained and marked clearly to indicate the presence of asbestos. It should then be removed from the work area.

Disposal of asbestos waste in NZ should occur as soon as reasonably practicable. The asbestos removalist should ensure that individual components and wiping rags are placed in plastic bags, with each bag being goose-necked separately, followed by its placement in a container.

The asbestos removalist is expected to make sure that asbestos waste awaiting disposal is stored in closed containers. These could take the form of 60 or 200 metre steel drums with removable lids, or a sealed skip.

It will then be necessary for the asbestos waste to be disposed of at a landfill site that has been approved for this purpose by a territorial local or territorial authority in accordance with the Resource Management Act 1991.

Trust Us For Safe And Legal Asbestos Disposal In Auckland

The short answer to the question, “how is asbestos disposed of in NZ?” is that it is taken to an approved landfill site – but as we have explained above, there are many other aspects of the disposal process that need to be borne in mind. To arrange for the safe removal of asbestos from your Auckland property, followed by legally compliant disposal, please call 021 817 644.

What Does Asbestos Look Like (& How to Identify It)

Asbestos is a dangerous material that was used regularly in buildings between the 1940s to the 1990s, although its popularity had begun to wane by the mid-1980s due to health concerns. It is the leading killer in the workplace, causing approximately 170 deaths annually from asbestos-related illnesses such as asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma. If you are considering renovation or demolition work on a building that was built during this time, it is essential you know how to identify asbestos and what you should do if it is found. Here, we try and answer some of your key questions. 

Where Can Asbestos Be Found?

Asbestos was a common building material used throughout the twentieth century. As such, if you own a building built before the nineties, it is almost certain that it contains some variety of asbestos. It was popular due to its fire, heat, and chemical resistant properties, meaning that it can often be found in pipe and boiler lagging (fibrolite), water tanks, gaskets and ropes for wood burners, and wall cladding. It was also known to have strengthening properties, so it may also be found in cement products like pipes, flues and roofing. Also, to further fireproof the building, it was often added to textured decorative coatings and flat and stippled plaster. Even vinyl flooring and its backing can have the material hidden within it. 

Old textiles may contain asbestos, as can mastics and sealants. Damp-proof courses may also contain it to varying degrees.  

What does Asbestos Look like in New Zealand?

Most of the raw asbestos used in New Zealand was blue, brown or white. However, raw asbestos was rarely used in the building industry – it was mainly mixed with other materials. This means identifying asbestos is extremely difficult just from a visual inspection. The only safe way to know for sure if this hazardous product is present is to have it professionally tested. 

If you believe there is any chance your property may contain asbestos, you must have it checked to make sure that it is in a safe condition and is not posing a serious health hazard. If you have any renovation or demolition work planned then you must make sure that any asbestos is removed, as disturbing it will release deadly fibres into the atmosphere. 

If you want professional help with how to identify asbestos then please get in touch. We will professionally analyse your building and, if needed, safely remove and dispose of any hazardous materials for you.