Eden tip asbestos concerns raised following Tathra bushfire

Clean-up workers spray an adhesive over asbestos-contaminated material in the wake of the bushfire at Tathra. Picture: AAP/Perry Duffin
Clean-up workers spray an adhesive over asbestos-contaminated material in the wake of the bushfire at Tathra. Picture: AAP/Perry Duffin

Some in the Eden community have raised concerns over the Bega Valley Shire Council’s (BVSC) decision to close the Eden Waste Depot to the general public from Monday, April 9. 

The BVSC announced it would be closing the depot in order to accommodate the large scale disposal of fire damaged asbestos and demolition debris from the Tathra and Reedy Swamp fires.

According to the BVSC the site was chosen as one of its only two landfill sites to ensure the Central Waste Facility near Wolumla has capacity to receive household kerbside waste.

After the announcement on March 29, some Eden residents took to the BVSC’s Bega Valley Waste and Recycling Facebook page to voice their concerns and to ask further questions. 

One of the key concerns was the transportation and disposal of asbestos and the possible health impacts on the Eden community.

BVSC waste and recycling manager Toby Browne said asbestos demolition, transportation and disposal is heavily regulated by various state bodies including Safe Works NSW and the Environment Protection Authority (EPA).

“The NSW EPA  have stringent conditions placed on on the transportation and removal of asbestos  to help mitigate the risks to the general public,” he said.

“These controls are in place so asbestos materials cannot pollute or escape the transportation vehicle. Materials are wrapped and contained and are wet down before, during and after they are tipped. This is to ensure that there is no dust generated.

“There are also containment management procedures in place. Once the asbestos is in the ground that is where it stays.”

Mr Browne also said that it was important to close the depot during the transportation and disposal process.“It is a sensible not to have the public mix with the asbestos removal campaign. Also, there will be a lot of vehicle movement so it is important not to have people mixing with truck movements.”

Mr Browne also addressed community concerns in regards to what some perceived was inadequate community consultation. 

“This was urgent work that needed to be dealt with now. We could not leave Tathra waiting,” he said. “We have listened to what the community are saying and because of this we are considering the option of opening on Sundays.”

Comments