We take the health of our staff, volunteers and the community extremely seriously.
Transfer stations in Auckland do not accept asbestos containing materials (ACMs), but worryingly they are still turning up at our Lawrie Road and Rustybrook Road sites putting people and livelihoods at risk.
While ACMs are not a health hazard if left undisturbed, if they are cut, broken or disturbed in any way they can cause life-threatening lung disease or cancer. Recent statistics from Auckland Council show there are now 220 asbestos-related deaths annually in New Zealand.
The risks are simply too high.
Unfortunately, fibre cement board is our biggest concern - without lab testing it is almost impossible to identify if damaged fibre cement board contains asbestos or not. Therefore, as a safety precaution we have decided to ban all types from our sites.
If asbestos is brought to our sites, we must follow strict health and safety procedures to keep our staff, volunteers and customers safe. This could mean closing down operations until decontamination can be undertaken at a massive cost, which would have to be on-charged to whoever dumped the offending materials. People disposing of asbestos illegally, also risk being fined under health and safety legislation.
Over 3,800 products in New Zealand are known to contain asbestos, which is likely to be found in any building built before 1 January 2000. See image below.
DIY-ers should have materials tested before starting any home renovations, and if you are worried about asbestos in your home talk to a health protection officer at the Auckland Regional Public Health Service on 09 623 4600.