Asbestos dump concerns

Alarmed: Ruth Sevil said the painted pieces of asbestos dumped in her front yard may be from a child’s cubbyhouse. Picture: Jonathan CarrollRUTH Sevil fears her whole street is at risk of asbestos contamination, after the toxic material was moved several times between her neighbours’ propertiesand dumped in her front yard.
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Mrs Sevil said she contacted Lake Macquarie City Council on April 8 to ask how andwhen the broken pieces ofolder-style asbestos sheeting outside her Arcadia Vale property would be removed, but is yet to receive a confirmed pick-up date.

“I have two children and I’m concerned the street is now contaminated,” Mrs Sevil said.“It only takes one fibre to get into someone’s lungs.”

Mrs Sevil said other residentsin the street sometimesleftitems for waste pick up outside her next door neighbour’s house.

Shealleged unknown personsleft a number of items,including the asbestos, outside herneighbour’s house about three weeks ago.

The councilpicked up all of the items,except for the asbestos.

Its promotional material about its bulk waste collection specifies thatasbestos and fibro sheeting is “unacceptable” for collection. It requires residents who want to dispose asbestos to register the waste online with the Environment Protection Authority (EPA)and provide 24 hours notice to theAwaba Waste Management Facility.

Mrs Sevil returned from work on April 7 to find theasbestos had been moved to outside her home.

“I don’t get involved with what my neighbours do and so rang the council on Friday,” she said.

“They said not to touch it and that someone would be out to remove it.

“But they should have picked it up by now –they can’t say they did not know it was asbestos weeks ago.”

The council declined to comment on how and when the asbestos would be removed.

“Council is still investigating who was responsible for dumping the material and the exact nature of it.”

An EPA spokesperson said it had not been aware of the situation.

“The EPA understands that the Regional Illegal Dumping Squad (through Lake Macquarie City Council) is aware and is dealing with the possibility of asbestos in this situation.”