Asbestos Disposal Guide – What You Need to Know

Asbestos can be a particularly hazardous material and for this reason specialist care needs to be taken in the event that it is discovered in a property where you have duty to manage responsibilities. The identification, removal and subsequent disposal of asbestos must be carried out by certified and trained professionals. As a company that focuses on providing asbestos disposal services to commercial businesses throughout the UK, are well-placed to advise on all aspects of this process.

Although the use of asbestos containing materials was banned towards the end of 1999, it was still in use at the start of 2000. As such it must be presumed that any building constructed in and prior to the year 2000 has a high probability of containing asbestos containing materials. There have been many cases of buildings constructed post 2000 where asbestos materials have been identified. Not everyone followed the government's guidelines. So if you’re not sure get it checked. At the height of usage, there were more than 5000 different products which were known to contain asbestos. As such you may find it where you least expect it.

In this guide to asbestos disposal, we will highlight some of the considerations that you need to be aware of in relation to asbestos, its presence and disposal.

What is asbestos and why is it a hazardous material?

Asbestos is a naturally occurring silicate mineral that was routinely used as a building material on account of such qualities as its high tensile strength and resistance to chemical erosion.

The substance was especially popular for construction purposes in the 1960s, ‘70s and ‘80s. However, its use in the UK was banned in 1999 in light of the strong link between asbestos inhalation and serious, but often long-developing diseases like mesothelioma, asbestosis and asbestos-related lung cancer.

How is asbestos disposed of?

Asbestos simply being present on a given commercial site doesn’t necessarily mean it has to be disposed of; indeed, properly managed asbestos containing materials (ACMs) can often be left in place, depending on such factors as the asbestos’ type, condition and location.

If, however, as a consequence of a risk assessment made by professionals like our own here at Oracle Solutions, it is decided that the asbestos should be removed and disposed of rather than simply managed, you must not attempt to carry out this work yourself unless you have received suitable training and have the necessary equipment.

Any ACMs can be considered to be asbestos containing waste (ACW) once they are ready for disposal. Asbestos waste is any waste that consists of more than 0.1% weight- for-weight (w/w) asbestos, and its definition also includes contaminated building materials, personal protective equipment, damp rags used for cleaning, and tools that cannot be decontaminated.

While slightly different terms apply for the disposal of asbestos waste in England, Scotland and Wales, if you are to dispose of asbestos yourself, you must be trained to work safely with ACW. The waste must also be packed in UN-approved packaging that sports a CDG hazard label and visible asbestos code information. The asbestos waste should be double-wrapped and labelled, and the only people permitted to transport such waste are those with a waste carriers licence.

It is also crucial not to break up large pieces of asbestos waste. Such large pieces should instead be double wrapped in suitable 1000-gauge polythene sheeting and labelled accordingly.

Can I put asbestos in a skip?

If you do have the equipment, training and waste carriers licence that would enable you to transport the asbestos waste yourself, you must use a sealed skip, or a vehicle with a segregated compartment for asbestos, that is also easily cleanable and lockable. You must not simply throw asbestos sheeting over a standard skip.

If you cannot fulfil these requirements for carrying asbestos in a skip, you are urged to arrange for a registered waste carrier to transport it for you.

We at can help you to take a responsible approach to asbestos disposal

With the disposal of asbestos being a specialised task that necessitates the highest standards of professionalism and safety, it would likely be an exceedingly wise course of action for you not to take any risks yourself, instead getting in touch with highly trained, capable and experienced asbestos technicians.

Our own asbestos removal contractors here at are licensed by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for your very greatest peace of mind. So, to learn more about the expertise we could bring to the management of asbestos on your own premises, please don’t hesitate to contact us via email, or by calling 0844 2451756.