Information for property owners on how to safely recycle or remove building materials, including those that may contain asbestos, following a bushfire.
Materials not contaminated by asbestos
If your property (house or workplace) does not have asbestos-containing debris, you can sell or provide it to a recycler. Contact the recycler to establish any specific requirements they may have prior to collection.
Material that does not contain asbestos and cannot be recycled can be disposed of at a licensed landfill. Contact the landfill for any specific requirements.
For information about landfill disposal or recycling contact:
- your local council, or
- Environment Protection Authority Victoria (03) 9695 2722 or www.epa.vic.gov.au
The information below is for homeowners undergoing property clean-up following a bushfire.
This information is not meant for a workplace.
Property clean-up at a workplace must be carried out in accordance with the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017, EPA and local council requirements. This requires workplaces to engage a Class A licensed asbestos removalist for all friable asbestos material, or to engage a Class A or B licensed asbestos removalist for non-friable asbestos materials greater than 10m2.
Materials contaminated by asbestos
Asbestos-containing materials are very common in houses built before 1990 and are commonly found in walls, roofs, eaves, fences and electrical switch boards.
Risks associated with fire-damaged asbestos-containing material
Most asbestos-containing material in the home is ‘non-friable’ (bonded material). However, in a fire, non-friable asbestos has the potential to shatter and disintegrate, which can cause the material to become ‘friable’ (material that is no longer bonded).
Friable asbestos can easily crumble to dust and this significantly increases the risk of breathing asbestos fibres.
Breathing asbestos fibres may lead to serious diseases, such as asbestos is, lung cancer and mesothelioma.
A trained person, such as an Occupational Hygienist can be engaged to identify if asbestos materials are on a property and whether the material is deemed to be friable or non-friable.
For more information about asbestos visit: www.asbestos.vic.gov.au.