How to dispose of asbestos in London
This is a guide to everything you need to know about asbestos disposal from a home in London, including hiring an asbestos removal specialist, taking it to your local tip, and using your council collection service.
- Tenant? Speak to your landord
- Be Careful!
- Take asbestos to the tip
- Hire a specialist asbestos disposal contractor
- Council asbestos collection service in London
1. Tenant? Speak to your landlord
If you are a tenant and not the owner of the property and find (or think you have found) asbestos in the your property - contact your landlord. Any asbestos in the building is their responsibility ...not yours.
2. Be careful with asbestos disposal!
Asbestos is a hazardous material. It contains lots of tiny fibres that are bad for you if inhaled. It's generally pretty safe unless broken. Breaking it creates dust which releases the nasty fibres.
If you have to move asbestos yourself - do so with extreme care. This means at the very least that you should wear gloves, safety goggles, disposable coveralls, and a dust mask. The professionals use respirators (with HEPA filtered cartridges or a N-110, P-100 or R-100 NIOSH rating). Read these HSE’s asbestos basics for more detail.
Place all asbestos in plastic bags and double bag it. If you need to break asbestos or this happens accidentally, spray water on it with a hose to minimise the dust particles.
3. Take asbestos to the tip
We recommend leaving asbestos handling to the experts, but if you're feeling bullish and have appropriate PPE and vehicle, you can deliver the asbestos to the tip yourself. (note: If you’re bagging up the asbestos yourself, make sure you wear PPE before you bag it up, not after!)
Many local tips/ HWRCs will accept asbestos, but some don’t - so check beforehand on their website to see if it's OK or there are any limits on how much you can bring. Click here for list of London's tips.
4. Hire a specialist asbestos disposal contractor
Using a specialist contractor who is fully trained in dealing with asbestos is the safest option. Private contractors are more expensive than using the council collection service, but typically will collect your waste much faster and can also handle larger jobs. In simple terms if you've only a couple of bags of asbestos and don't mind waiting - use the council (see below). Otherwise use a private contractor.
The trade association for asbestos contractors, ACRA (Asbestos Removal Contractors Association), has a list of licensed London contractors here. All of these registered contractors need to comply with BOHS P402 Standards.
Once your waste has been disposed of, they will provide you with a Hazardous Waste Consignment Note documenting the waste removed, the address it was removed from, names of the parties involved in the transfer and where the waste was taken to.
5. Council asbestos collection service in London
City of London council organises the collection of asbestos disposal on behalf of all London councils (with the exception of Hillingdon council - see below).
City of London offers a free collection for the first 15m2 or 7 rubble bags. If you have any more than that, you will have to pay. They also won't accept waste that has not already been bagged or wrapped prior to collection. The asbestos needs to be bagged in heavy-duty polythene bags or wrapped in plastic sheeting, sealed and labelled with the words 'WARNING - CONTAINS ASBESTOS - DO NOT INHALE DUST'. Click here for more information on the City of London’s asbestos collection service.
Hillingdon council offer their own service and they will collect up to 6 sheets or bags of asbestos once a year for free. Any further collections cost £14.40 for each bag or sheet.
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