Residents have complained the asbestos warning signs around the depot site are not big enough.
Residents have complained the asbestos warning signs around the depot site are not big enough. Tim Howard

PREDICTION: Asbestos finds will spike as building booms

CLARENCE Valley will experience a spike in asbestos finds as construction activity in the region increases, predicts one of the regulatory bodies dealing with the problem.

But the Clarence Valley Council's director environment, planning and community, Des Schroder, said the Valley will not experience anything like the surge in asbestos finds reflected in metropolitan areas.

Last week it was reported asbestos finds had almost doubled in the past five years and increased by 32% in the last year.

Mr Schroder said local figures had increased but tended to fluctuate rather than create an upward trend.

"Our figures show we have between 50 and 250 tonnes per year going into our landfill site," he said. "Last year it was 170 tonnes.

"Also we are not having a renovation boom as most of the building activity here is in new houses."

Mr Schroder said some of the asbestos coming to the local landfill site was from outside the region.

"We're an authorised asbestos landfill, so people from outside the area can get rid of their asbestos here."

He said the council charged a standard fee for asbestos disposal at $250 a tonne.

"Our figures show loads dumped at our landfill are generally under $100," he said.

Mr Schroder said the council had a wealth of information on asbestos handling on its website, including how to get a free asbestos assessment and tips for home renovators on handling asbestos.

The council has contributed to the spike in asbestos finds during the clean up of the super depot site in South Grafton.

Mr Schroder said counci'l's decision to have the asbestos-contaminated landfill transported to Queensland had nothing to do with the asbestos contained in the soil. He said the soil on the site, which had been a sewerage treatment plant until recently, contained too many bio-solids for the local landfill site to handle.

"It was because of the bio-solids the site has to be rehabilitated," Mr Schroder said. "The discovery of the asbestos really didn't change that at all."



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