Earthquake Waste Management Survey To Begin

From next week red and yellow stickered home owners will be contacted and then visited by case workers from the Hurunui District Council.  Starting in Waiau and Rotherham this will then progress through the rest of the district.  The case workers will perform preliminary observations to determine whether these properties will require an asbestos survey before demolition or renovation works.

If a property is identified as requiring an asbestos survey, consultants will be contracted by Environment Canterbury to undertake the surveys. This will enable the council to ensure that experts will be present for the removal of asbestos throughout the demolition process.

Hurunui District Council’s Waste Minimisation Team Leader, Sally Cracknell, says that asbestos-based products were mainstream in New Zealand homes, offices, factories and other buildings from the 1920s to the mid-1980s and it is important that we identify properties that require the proper removal of asbestos.

“These preliminary visits carried out by the case workers are vitally important to identifying properties that require an asbestos survey prior to any demolition work being undertaken.  This process will ensure the avoidance of health risks associated with exposure to asbestos, and will minimise the potential risk of hazardous substances being managed inappropriately during the demolition process.”

The council are also offering to collect certain hazardous substances from affected properties.  Substances identified as a risk will then be removed by a hazardous substances contractor to ensure these are removed and disposed of in the correct manner.

Mayor Winton Dalley says that it is good to see that people with properties that are found to contain asbestos will be getting the advice and support they require in order to get qualified companies appointed to remove and dispose of the material.

“The health of our communities is always a major priority for the council and the safe removal of asbestos while renovation or demolition of earthquake-affected properties takes place is important for the protection of our communities’ health.”

The preliminary observations have been made possible by funding from the Ministry for the Environment’s Waste Minimisation Fund.  For home owners who suspect asbestos is present in their earthquake-damaged properties, please contact Emma Duncan via: emma.duncan@hurunui.govt.nz.