Perth asbestos removal company worker caught dumping 'do not puncture' bag – WAtoday


A Perth man has hit out at illegal dumpers taking advantage of bulk rubbish collection in his rural neighbourhood after he caught a tradie on tape allegedly dumping asbestos waste on his driveway.

Banksia Grove resident Blake Weller said he set up security cameras out the front of his property after he started noticing his street was a hot spot for illegal dumping.

“The street has been known for dumping stuff, as it’s quite a rural area,” he said.

“At the moment we have bulk rubbish collection, so a lot of people reckon they can come by and add to our piles with their own junk.

“As it’s bulk rubbish at the moment, I don’t mind too much, but I set up security cameras outside my house [because] I thought it might help stop people from being tempted to dump their stuff at the top of my driveway.”

On Thursday morning, Mr Weller said he noticed extra rubbish had been added to the pile at around 9am.

When reviewing his security footage, he saw a work vehicle pull up to the top of his driveway and a man exit from the vehicle.

He watched as the man took rubbish from his trailer and dumped it onto his pile, before driving off.  

Mr Weller said he wasn’t too concerned at first until he realised commercial waste had been left outside the front of his property.

He said he found a bag typically used to contain asbestos on work sites, fibrous pieces of plaster and gyprock all dumped on his property’s driveway.

“When I went and looked, I could see it was a bag that said ‘do not puncture’ on the side. I had a look and it wasn’t all asbestos, but it had some certain fibres inside,” he said.

When Mr Weller watched the footage more closely, he was shocked to find the person who had left the commercial waste outside his home was in fact an employee of a local company responsible for the safe removal of asbestos.

Using the details on the side of car, Mr Weller was able to contact the man he believed dumped the rubbish and spoke with him about the materials.

“I rang him up and questioned him how he would like it if I place my rubbish in his driveway – particularly a bag full of asbestos,” he said.

“My thinking is, this guy works for an asbestos removal company. He’s finished a job and come by, and just dumped what he’s found on my driveway.

“He should know better.”

The employee involved with the incident told WAtodayhe had been returning from a job when he dumped the material, and said he believed there was no asbestos material inside the bag when he left it at the property.

“It was an empty, clean, new bag,” he said.

“There is no way in the world I would I dump asbestos material given my job – it’s not worth it.

“I can 100 per cent guarantee there was no asbestos in what I left.”

The employee has since apologised to Mr Weller, and acknowledged dumping the waste was “probably the incorrect way to do it”.

City of Wanneroo director of assets Harminder Singh said the city was looking into the case.

“The City of Wanneroo’s rangers have been contacted by a resident reporting the suspected dumping of asbestos.  Rangers are currently investigating,” she said.

Ms Singh also warned other tradesman who may be tempted to dump their waste to be picked up by the council’s bulk rubbish team.

“Commercial waste and building waste is not collected as part of bulk rubbish. If such waste is placed for bulk rubbish collection, it is left behind,” she said.

The City of Wanneroo is one of few Perth councils still using the bulk rubbish management system, and Ms Singh said the City was looking into whether this could change in the future.

“The city is currently reviewing all of its waste operations through the Strategic Waste Management Plot.”

Mr Weller said he was looking at options to have the bag tested for asbestos. 

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