Clinical waste and asbestos

Asbestos

Asbestos is classified as hazardous waste and must be handled with extreme care. It can only be disposed of at special landfill sites.

Asbestos in residential properties

While asbestos is potentially a very hazardous material, the risk to the public from asbestos in the home is low; however levels of fibres may be higher in buildings containing asbestos materials. The use of asbestos insulation is now banned, but in the 1950s and 1960s it was used extensively as a building material and as a result there is a low level of asbestos in the air everywhere.

The greater risk to health arises when asbestos is damaged or if the material is drilled, sawn, scrubbed or sanded. If you suspect that a material might contain asbestos do not carry out work on it but seek expert advice as DIY work can cause high, short-term exposures to asbestos fibres.

The Asbestos Information Centre (AIC) has compiled lists to help identify asbestos in the home.

You cannot accurately identify asbestos material by simply looking at it. The only way to know for sure whether a product contains asbestos and what type is to have it tested.

You can find out more on how to deal with asbestos from the HSE.

If you discover asbestos in your home it's best to seek advice immediately. ARCA (Asbestos Removal Contractors Association) can help you find an authorised contractor to remove it.

Do not place asbestos waste into dustbins as it will not be collected.

You cannot dispose of asbestos waste at the Re-use and Recycling Centre (Kimpton Park Way).

If you would like to make an asbestos enquiry, please use the online form.

Collection service for domestic amounts of asbestos waste

The City of London operates a Household Hazardous Waste Collection and Disposal Service (HHWCDS) on our behalf. This service is for small amounts of domestic asbestos waste. Contact the London Hazardous Waste Collection and Disposal Service on 020 7332 3433 or email cleansing.hazwaste@cityoflondon.gov.uk.

Residents are able to arrange the collection of cement asbestos providing it is double wrapped and sealed in building sacks. The City of London is not able to dismantle or wrap asbestos for you - this must be done prior to collection.

Residents are entitled to one asbestos collection per year. You may be required to pay towards a collection, depending on the quantity to be disposed of.

Disposing of domestic asbestos waste through a commercial operator

If you employ a commercial operator to remove and dispose of your asbestos waste, they must be a licensed carrier and the waste must be disposed of at an approved site. As a householder you have a duty of care to obtain a waste transfer note from the operator in accordance with The Hazardous Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2005. This document must show the name and address of the operator, the operator’s licence number and vehicle registration, your address and that of the final disposal site.

Disposing of larger amounts of domestic asbestos waste or commercial asbestos waste

If you have larger amounts of domestic asbestos waste or commercial quantities of asbestos waste, you are advised to contact ARCA (Asbestos Removal Contractors Association) who will be able to advise you of appropriate specialist contractors and disposal sites where the asbestos may be disposed of.

Reporting fly tipped asbestos to the Council

If you see anyone dumping asbestos or other building material please report it to us – see our pages on fly tipping.