Can you put asbestos in a skip?

UK Home Improvement

Can You Put Asbestos In A Skip?

Asbestos is classed as hazardous waste; it needs to be carefully removed and disposed of by a professional. Asbestos removal requires a Hazardous Waste Carrier Licence and all work with asbestos must comply with British Occupational Hygiene Society (BOHS) P402 Standards. Regulations are enforced by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Do not put asbestos in a skip.

We’ve put together a brief overview of what asbestos is, and why you cannot put asbestos in a skip. For more detailed advice, please contact an expert or consult your local council.

What is asbestos?

Asbestos is made of naturally occurring minerals that have crystallised into fibres, it is a substance that can be mined from the earth. Asbestos was used as a building material due to its strength and ability to resist heat and chemicals. It can therefore be found in some building materials, as well as car parts, electrical components, and insulation. It was used in construction from around the 1930s, through to when it was banned in the 1990s.

The mineral is made up of delicate fibres that do dissolve in water. It can be extremely dangerous when damaged or disturbed, due to the fact it releases fibres and particles into the air. The displaced fibres can then be inhaled by anyone working with the material without the proper safety precautions. Asbestos fibres do not break down in the body and can cause a lung condition called asbestosis. The material classed as being carcinogenic (having the potential to cause cancer) to humans.

It is vital that asbestos removal is carried out safely and carefully by a trained professional.

Types of asbestos

There are different types of asbestos fibres that fall into one of two categories, either amphibole or serpentine fibres.

Serpentine asbestos

Also known as chrysolite or white asbestos, this is the most commonly used asbestos fibre. These fibres are relatively flexible, soft and curved, which makes them slightly less dangerous.

Amphibole asbestos

Amphibole asbestos fibres are more brittle, with a rod or needle-like appearance. Amphibole asbestos is much more hazardous. This type of fibre was not used as commonly, but can still be found in some older materials. Crocidolite-blue asbestos, tremolite, actinolite, amosite-brown asbestos, and anthophyllite are all examples of amphibole asbestos.

Amphibole (blue and brown) asbestos has been banned in the UK since 1985. The use or supply of all types of asbestos has been completely banned in the UK since 1999.

How to dispose of asbestos safely

If you find asbestos in your home, or if you are unsure and are breaking up building materials that could have been used before the ban on asbestos, you should seek advice from a licensed asbestos removal specialist. Public Health England (PHE) does not recommend removing asbestos yourself.

We do not dispose of asbestos; you’ll need to contact a specialist company. Some local councils also provide services for asbestos identification surveys and asbestos removal. When a specialist removes asbestos, they must provide you with a Hazardous Waste Consignment Note, which is a certificate to show that the material has been removed by a licensed professional, and has been disposed of legally and responsibly. The certificate will detail the materials that have been removed, the date, where the material has been removed from, the customer, and the details of the contractor.

Although it is not a legal requirement to be a member, the Asbestos Removal Contractors Association (ARCA) is an excellent place to find information on legislation, as well as a list of contractors and businesses who can help with removing and disposing of asbestos.

What happens if I put asbestos in a skip?

Once any asbestos has been removed from your property and disposed of separately by a specialist, then you’ll be able to look for skip hire for the rest of the waste. Do not combine asbestos with other waste.

We are often asked, ‘can you put asbestos in a skip?’ and the answer is no. Most skips cannot be used for disposing of asbestos. Do not be tempted to conceal or hide asbestos in a skip, it may result in your skip not being removed and all of your waste will be considered as potentially contaminated.

Penalty charges will apply, and you would also need to arrange for a specialist to remove the asbestos and all contaminated waste, which would be at a significant additional cost to you and your project.


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