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How to dispose of asbestos

17 June 2021

Welcome to our asbestos disposal guide where we break down how to dispose of asbestos safely and responsibly. Key sections include:

  1. Safety precautions
  2. Advice for tenants
  3. Take asbestos to the tip
  4. Council collection service
  5. Hire a specialist asbestos disposal contractor


1. Asbestos safety

First and foremost: asbestos is a hazardous material. It contains lots of tiny fibres that are dangerous if inhaled. It's generally pretty safe unless broken. Breaking it creates dust which releases the fibres.

We recommend leaving asbestos to specialists. However, if you have to move asbestos yourself - do so with extreme care. This means at the very least wear:

  • Gloves
  • Safety goggles
  • Disposable coveralls
  • 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.


2. Tenant? Speak to your landlord

If you rent your 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. 


asbestos specliast contractor removing and disposing of asbestos


3. Take asbestos to the tip

Some council tips (otherwise known as recycling centres or HWRCs) will accept asbestos disposal. However, this varies between sites so make sure you double check if they do and if so, any weight limits etc. Any doubts - call up and ask.

If you have appropriate PPE and a 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!)

Find your nearest recycling centre with our handy map.


4. Council collection service for asbestos

Asbestos disposal services vary from council to council. Some local authorities offer a collection service and you should read the terms and conditions very carefully. For example, most state that they can strictly only collect readily bagged asbestos and cannot dismantle.

Go to your council's website for details.


Council asbestos collection in London

As an example, 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.


5. 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 dismantle and bag it up if necessary. 

The trade association for asbestos contractors, ACRA (Asbestos Removal Contractors Association), has a list of licensed 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.


asbestos ppe



Thanks for reading - we hope you found our how to dispose of asbestos guide useful. Please note that the LoveJunk marketplace cannot accept any hazardous waste and this means you cannot dispose of asbestos via our platform. Read more about our hazardous bulky waste policy here.

However, if you have non-hazardous waste to dispose of, take a look at our How to Dispose of Rubbish guide, or tap below!


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