Environmental officers are urging the public to take care what they put into their waste bins after a collection crew found asbestos cement had been hidden in a garden waste bin.
The vehicle in which the waste was tipped had to be cordoned off and specialist contractors will now have to arrange for the vehicle to be tipped in a safe space and for it to be professionally cleaned.
The incident took place during Monday morning’s garden waste collections in Grimsby. The bin crew have been offered a welfare check and new PPE, along with any further help they may need.
North East Lincolnshire’s Environmental Team said the discovery of the asbestos cement had:
- Posed a health, safety, and wellbeing risk to bin crews;
- Delayed the garden waste collections, as they had to take the vehicle off the road. (The other crews then worked together and managed to get this work completed);
- Caused a high cost to the service for decontamination of the vehicle and disposal of contamination.
The bin owners will be advised that their garden waste bin must now be safely disposed of. The council will also seek to identify the person responsible.
The council already provides facilities for the disposal of asbestos. Information can be found at Asbestos | NELC (nelincs.gov.uk) which explains the steps to take if you wish to safely dispose of bonded asbestos from your home at the tip in Grimsby.
For information on what to put in your waste and recycling bins please see this link: What goes in your bins and recycling | NELC (nelincs.gov.uk)
Cllr Stewart Swinburn, Portfolio Holder for Environment and Transport, said the bin crew should be praised for being very quick to spot the asbestos.
“Thanks to the bin crew’s swift actions the contamination has been contained. At this stage, it is unclear whether the householder involved knew what they were putting into the garden waste bin. They may not have realised that it was asbestos and, therefore, could be dangerous,” he said.
“However, it is clear that cement should not be placed in a garden waste bin and I urge residents to be very careful about what they dispose of and how they dispose of it. If they are unclear of what they are dealing with then please seek advice before simply throwing it into the bin.
“We take the health and safety of council staff very seriously and incidents like this can be detrimental to health. We will also need to use authorised contractors to dispose of the asbestos safely and this can cost the council an awful lot of money to put right.”