Disposing of asbestos waste
What is asbestos?
Asbestos is the name for a group of naturally occurring minerals made up of small fibres. Due to their extraordinary strength, and resistance to heat and chemical attacks, asbestos historically has been widely used in products such as insulation material in buildings, water supply lines, fire blankets, brake linings, gaskets and pads for automobiles.
The main route people are exposed to asbestos is by breathing in air that contains asbestos fibres. For further information about the health effects of asbestos see ‘What are the health risks associated with asbestos?’.
Where can I dispose of asbestos waste?
In Aotearoa New Zealand, there are a number of places where you can dispose of asbestos waste (please see table below).
Please contact the landfills prior to dropping off your asbestos waste, to ensure that the site can still receive your waste and that you're aware of any specific rules or requirements that must be followed whilst dropping off the material. There will be a cost associated to the disposal of your asbestos waste.
Landfill sites that take asbestos waste
Who is involved in the regulation and monitoring of asbestos?
There are many agencies and organisations involved in the management of asbestos:
Figure 1 – asbestos ecosystem map derived from NZDAA – Asbestos Sector Review
There are various rules and regulations applying when working with or removing asbestos. An overview can be found on the WorkSafe website here.
A practical guide on how to safely remove asbestos from your home can be found on the Te Whatu Ora – Health New Zealand website here.
What are the health risks associated with asbestos?
All forms of asbestos have been found to be carcinogenic to humans. Exposure to asbestos can cause various forms of cancer such as lung, larynx, ovary and mesothelioma. Exposure to asbestos can also cause diseases such as asbestosis, plaques and thickening of the pleura.
Most people that become ill from asbestos have been exposed to asbestos via their workplace.
For more information about the health risks of asbestos please see: