Asbestos

The Somerset Waste Partnership offers the safe disposal of asbestos through an appointed Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC).

Asbestos waste

You are advised to contact your local HWRC or Somerset Waste Partnership on 01823 625700. There may be a charge for collection and disposal.

Domestic:

New arrangements for the Somerset recycling centres that take asbestos, plasterboard and related materials started on Monday 4 April 2016 to enhance safety, improve site security, cut environmental pollution and ensure the full treatment costs are met.

Both these materials require special handing - asbestos and asbestos containing materials (ACM) as a significant health hazard, plasterboard and plaster due to serious pollution risks - and are complex and costly to treat. Somerset's asbestos is landfilled and plasterboard recycled.

To avoid the inconvenience and security issues of handling cash, a new online payments system on the Somerset Waste Partnership (SWP) website at www.somersetwaste.gov.uk allows residents to pre-pay to deposit asbestos and plasterboard.

Once payment is received, the resident is issued a receipt and must then - for asbestos - contact one of the seven sites that accept it to arrange a visit when there is adequate skip space.

Having agreed their visit, residents with asbestos must arrive at the site with it carefully wrapped and sealed in heavy duty plastic, and immediately contact staff to show their proof of payment before unloading. Health risks mean recycling site staff cannot assist asbestos unloading.

As hazardous waste, asbestos and asbestos containing materials (ACM) must be carefully handled to avoid inhaling dust or fibres: use gloves and masks and, if possible, do not drill, break, scrub or saw asbestos. Damp down the working area to cut airborne particles, and clear fibres with a damp cloth, bagging that with the asbestos for disposal.

Residents should check how much asbestos or ACM they have, wrap or double bag all materials in thick plastic, seal them with gaffer or duct tape, then pay online and contact a site.

Unlike asbestos, plasterboard and plaster are safe to handle but by law landfill must be avoided where possible, as the gypsum in plasterboard reacts with buried organic material to create toxic hydrogen sulphide and climate changing methane.

Residents do not need to book a recycling site visit to deposit plasterboard or plaster but should pay, go to one of the 11 sites that take plasterboard and show their receipt before unloading.

SWP is encouraging those with excess plasterboard or plaster to save money and materials by recycling them through their supplier, or to sell or give them away.

The charge for treatment of these materials is £4 per sheet or equivalent sack of plasterboard or plaster and £12 per sheet or equivalent sack of asbestos or ACM, with payment taken online by credit or debit card. Minimum order: one sheet or sack.

Collections of asbestos and ACM from residents - which must, as always, be sealed in plastic in advance - are available for the treatment cost plus a fixed collection fee. This transaction will go online in future but for the present, residents should call 01823 625700 to arrange this service.

Check the SWP website for a guide to ACM items manufactured before asbestos ceased to be used, from storage heaters and insulation materials to floor tiles, fire blankets and flues.

Seven recycling sites take asbestos and ACM: Bridgwater, Frome, Highbridge, Minehead, Street, Taunton, Yeovil.

Eleven recycling sites take plasterboard and plaster: Bridgwater, Chard, Crewkerne, Dulverton, Frome, Highbridge, Street, Taunton, Wells, Williton, Yeovil.

Commercial:

If you wish to dispose of commercial or industrial asbestos, contact the Environment Agency on 01278 457333. If you are unable to transport your household asbestos to a Household Waste Recycling Centre please contact the Somerset Waste Partnership on 01823 625700.

Businesses can pay to deposit plasterboard or plaster at some recycling sites - listed on SWP's website - but business deposits of asbestos cannot be accepted.

Asbestos Dumped:

I want to report the dumping of asbestos materials. Who do I contact?

You can report this to us and we will arrange removal and investigate whether an offence has been committed under the Environmental Protection Act.

Report fly-tipping of Asbestos

Shed Demolition:

I have a shed that I want to dispose of that may contain asbestos, who can I contact for advice?

You can contact Somerset County Council, Scientific Services on 0845 3459188 who will be able to advise you on what action you should be taking.