Asbestos roof disposal

27 Jan 2010
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Buckinghamshire, Darn Sarf
United Kingdom
Here's a bit of a legal poser.

8 years ago I bought (paid for, proof of purchase retained) a pre-fab garage with a corrugated roof. The builder (this info could be relevant?) who sold it to me said it was acquired by him as part of a site, used for his storage, and surplus to requirements, and that it DID NOT have an asbestos roof. Asbestos has been banned since the last century, and specifically...

The Control of Asbestos 2006 regulations brought together three separate pieces of legislation which covered the prohibition of Asbestos, the control of asbestos at work and asbestos licensing. They prohibit the import, supply and use of all types of asbestos and also continue to ban the second hand use of asbestos products such as asbestos boards and tiles.

Yesterday I wrapped this fragile roofing up in a tarp and, using a neighbour's help and estate car, took it to our local tip. After being directed to tip it into the hardcore skip, and after starting to tip, the supervisor approached and stopped us, claiming we were illegally tipping asbestos material (ACMs in jargon). We were instructed to remove the roofing sheets (now broken into more pieces) and take them away, pending issue of a licence from the County Council, and we complied.

Now I am worried that I am left with the following problems:
1. My neighbour has a car which is contaminated with a possible ACM,
2. I have a pile of broken roofing material back at my house, possibly ACM.
3. The council licence permits me to dump only about a quarter of the quantity I have.
4. I have a garage contaminated with possible ACM.
5. I have contaminated clothing (since bagged ready for disposal) and, by entering the house during the construction period, potentially ACMs in the house.

So to the questions I seek answers to:

Q1. Was it illegal for the builder to sell me the garage roof as part of the garage?
Q2. Should the cost of disposal of ACMs lie with the builder?
Q3. Who should foot the cost of the decontamination of the site (house, garage, garden, neighbour's car)?

I have written to the builder, advising him of these points, but as it all comes down to the confirmation or otherwise of the presence of ACMs in the roofing sheets then I assume the burden will be upon me to have a sample analysed before he will take any responsibility. This analysis takes time, and I am told is expensive, thus 'upping the ante'.
Q4. Is there some material property that distinguishes NON-asbestos roofing sheets from asbestos sheets.

Regards MM
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MeldrewsMate, good evening.

As I see it until you know precisely what you are dealing with you cannot make accurate judgments on how to proceed?

Shop around, get best cost and get the material tested?

If it is an ACM then split the load to the til between you and your [very, very obliging neighbour]

If it is not an ACM tip here i come, waving a certificate, how they will know it refers to your load I do not know??

Not saying it's cheap but the first google for me came up with a £40 prepaid test.
It may be bad news or it may settle the argument
You will need to get it to the tip in a week because @ 1.Oct. there will be a charge Per Bag. for asbestos And hardcore etc. @ our local tip if not all of them .
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My tip won't take any diy waste (counter to government rules) but took domestic asbestos with proof of ID and an appointment . I had to double bag in heavy duty plastic and seal it.
As Tiger said, get it tested first, then report back.
Less than £50 (minimum charge for one test: further tests would reduce the unit cost).

In my experience though, assy or not, civic sites are a ball ache for this sort of thing.
As said get it tested, cannot blame the tip guy for playing safe non asbestos roofing looks almost the same as asbestos, anyone can say it's not asbestos (like your builder).
If it is tested I would advise a site visit (around £100) so you can prove the stuff you have is the same as the sample sent off, you are then safe from any comebacks from the council.
You will also be confident that you and yours are safe.
I suspect you may have to treat it as asbestos to get it carted away without further aggro though. Remember that any site taking it cannot stick a copy of your test on every bit of it and then dump it in landfill
Can you post a picture of a piece of the broken material, ideally showing a broken edge? May be able to tell you by looking the likelihood its Bonded Asbestos, the tell tale signs are the fibres.

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