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Council clarifies RRC asbestos situation

7 August, 2017Posted in: Other
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Council has today responded to comments reported in some sections of the media regarding the management of asbestos found onsite at Council’s Resource Recovery Centre (RRC) in 2016.

Last year Council reported that a small amount of asbestos was confirmed via routine laboratory testing in a sample of crushed concrete at Council’s Resource Recovery Centre.

On 28 July 2016 senior management of Council were made aware of the positive result.  Sales of the product were immediately halted.  The NSW Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) was formally notified.  At the same time the RRC ceased accepting any further building waste.

A further 20 random tests on the crushed concrete product were ordered with one returning a positive result for asbestos.

On 3 August 2016 the Mayor of the day and councillors were advised in writing of the situation and a media release was issued urging residents who may have purchased the product to contact Council.

Following extensive investigations a total of 24 customers were confirmed to have purchased the product.  Council contacted all of these customers and negotiated options for remediation.

Of the 23 properties to date from where the material was fully removed only four small fragments of bonded asbestos have been found. All sites were independently inspected, verified, cleared and issued with an Asbestos Clearance Certificate by an independent occupational hygienist.

Council has taken a proactive approach to remediating the sites which received the crushed concrete.

All sales of crushed concrete ceased on 28 July 2016 and Council has made the decision to no longer produce recycled aggregate.

Since the notification, Council has been in close liaison with the EPA to manage remediation of the private properties with Council reporting to the EPA on a fortnightly basis.

Council continues to liaise with the EPA on management of the existing stockpile of crushed concrete at the RRC.

Council has also held a number of meetings with the EPA and members of the Office for the Minister for the Environment on the way forward.  The most recent meeting between senior staff of Council and the Director of the EPA was held on 3 August 2017 at the request of Council’s General Manager.