UK firm leads the world in diverting asbestos away from landfill

disposal-1846033_1920

It’s not often we get to say this, but we heard some genuinely uplifting news about asbestos a few weeks ago.

A firm in Wolverhampton, called Thermal Recycling, has opened the world’s first plant for environmentally responsible asbestos disposal.

The company uses a scientific process called denaturing to convert materials containing asbestos into a new asbestos-free material. It then produces a sustainable aggregate for the construction industry using the new material.

Until now this process has only been possible in laboratory conditions. Thermal Recycling is the first business in the world to be able to apply this process to asbestos waste on an industrial scale in a commercially viable and environmentally safe way.

Unsurprisingly, this development has not happened overnight. The firm carried out its first tests with asbestos back in 2008 when it developed a technique to denature asbestos on an industrial scale. It has gone on to invest millions of pounds and worked tirelessly to develop the right technology and processes to eliminate asbestos reliably and cost effectively and also to understand the substance that is safely produced by its treatment.

Currently the firm only accepts asbestos roof sheets containing chrysotile but it is working on plans that will enable it to increase the type and forms of asbestos that it can accept.

This is truly fantastic news and I think we can all be genuinely proud to see a UK firm leading the world in this ground-breaking way.

This process will not only divert asbestos away from landfill it will also help to contribute to a more sustainable construction industry.

Asbestos waste

Anyone who has had any experience of dealing with asbestos will know there are very tight regulations in place in the UK about how and where it should be disposed.

Asbestos waste includes asbestos products or materials, contaminated building materials, dust, rubble, used tools that cannot be decontaminated, disposable PPE (personal protective equipment) and damp rags that have been used for cleaning.

In order to dispose of asbestos safely it must first be placed in suitable packaging, to prevent any fibres being released, and should be double wrapped and appropriately labelled. Standard practice is to use a red inner bag – marked up with asbestos warning labels – and a clear outer bag with appropriate hazard markings. Intact asbestos cement sheets and textured coatings that are firmly attached to a board should not be broken up into smaller pieces. These should instead be carefully double wrapped in suitable polythene sheeting (1000 gauge) and labelled.

Asbestos waste should only be handled by a licensed disposal site. Your local authority can provide details of these.

It also needs to be transported to these sites in suitable containers that prevent the release of any asbestos fibres while in transit. Further detailed information on the disposal of asbestos waste is available from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

It is reassuring that there are tight laws governing the disposal of asbestos in this country because they are there to keep us safe but it doesn’t change the fact that when we’re talking about disposing of asbestos we mean that is going to end up in landfill.

It is obvious that it is not a sustainable solution to keep dumping a highly hazardous material like asbestos into landfill forever – no matter how securely it is packaged. That is why the news from Thermal Recycling is so exciting.

Do you need help dealing with your asbestos?

If you’re dealing with asbestos, remember that it is a dangerous substance and exposure to it leads to thousands of deaths in the UK every year.

Projects that involve potentially working with asbestos are often out of the comfort zone of the main works that are being undertaken. Whether it is the refurbishment of an area, demolition or a stand-alone piece of work, the route to full compliance with asbestos legislation can be daunting.

Understanding and undertaking your duties can be an equally daunting task, let alone the small matter of getting the right job done for the right price in the right time scale.

Asbestos removal management can save you time and money in addition to making sure you are fully compliant.

At Acorn, we provide fully encompassing asbestos removal management from initial concept through the certified completion. We provide an asbestos expert to be your point of contact to guide you through your asbestos removal project and because we don’t undertake asbestos removals inhouse you can be confident we are giving you the best independent and impartial assistance for any asbestos works required.

Acorn is a professional asbestos consultancy helping organisations deal with asbestos compliance using asbestos surveysasbestos air testing, and asbestos removal management. Please call one of the team, or use the online form to obtain your free quotation. If you would like further information or advice on asbestos and asbestos training, contact the team on 0844 818 0895 or Contact Us

Neil Munro

I work in a dual role at Acorn Analytical Services focused primarily on growing and leading the business from our Northampton office base. My focus is on overseeing all sales, marketing and financial activities from Northampton. I assist clients with high-level asbestos management strategies and training. Together with Ian Stone I host our weekly podcast – Asbestos Knowledge Empire and I'm Co-author of Asbestos The Dark Arts and Fear and Loathing of Health and Safety.

Need Help? Request a Call Back

Request a call back from one of our expert Asbestos Consultants who will help you identify what you need

More Asbestos Articles

Asbestos can lead to mesothelioma

Death of former MP raises fears over use of asbestos

THE death of a former MP from mesothelioma has brought the problem of asbestos into the headlines once again this week. In December, Alice Mahon, who was the MP for Halifax for 18 years died from mesothelioma, the cancer caused by exposure to asbestos fibres. According to her family, the former MP, who campaigned on … Read more

You need to think carefully about asbestos

Asbestos: Think carefully before signing on the dotted line

A BUILDER who lied to his customers about his asbestos industry credentials has been forced to pay back the thousands of pounds. According to the Environment Agency, Lee Charles used false paperwork to convince customers he was legitimate and had the qualifications necessary to remove asbestos and store it safely. In reality, Charles had no … Read more

Asbestos surveyor

Unveiling the Hidden Dangers: How Hiring a Professional Asbestos Surveyor Could Save Your Business and Property

Could your business be at risk from an invisible threat, hidden within the very structure of your buildings? Understanding the importance of a professional asbestos surveyor could be key to preserving your business operations and the integrity of your properties. Uncovering the hidden dangers of asbestos can protect your employees’ health, save significant costs in … Read more

inexperienced asbestos consultants (Medium)

The Rise of Inexperienced Asbestos Consultants: A Growing Concern

The asbestos industry is facing an alarming issue with the rise of inexperienced asbestos consultants. These individuals, lacking proper accreditation and expertise, are entering the market with only basic P402 qualifications. In this article, we aim to highlight the potential risks and consequences associated with this concerning trend. Understanding P402 Qualification The BOHS P402 qualification, … Read more

The Houses of Parliament are 'riddled' with asbestos

Asbestos: Living with the legacy of the past

THERE is so much asbestos in the Houses of Parliament it would take 300 people two-and-a-half years to remove it completely. That’s the view of members of the Public Accounts Committee who fear that the Parliament buildings are at risk of crumbling unless swift action is taken. In older buildings, asbestos is a common problem … Read more

Mesothelioma - celebrating the work of nurses

Mesothelioma: Celebrating the work of Mesothelioma UK’s nurses

IF you’re a regular reader of our blog, you’ll know that mesothelioma – the cancer caused by exposure to asbestos fibres – is a cause close to all our hearts. Over the years, we’ve worked closely with Mesothelioma UK, the only charity in the UK dedicated to supporting people living with mesothelioma and their families, … Read more

Let your career in the asbestos industry grow with Acorn

Let your career in the asbestos industry grow with Acorn

GIVING young people the opportunities they need to build successful careers in asbestos and health and safety is a big part of the work we do here at Acorn Analytical Services. Having all started off as apprentices and learnt our trade over many years, we pride ourselves on providing the right environment where the next … Read more

Here for you on Safety and Health at Work Day and every day

Here for you on Safety and Health at Work Day – and every day

ASBESTOS is one of the biggest health and safety hazards in the UK contributing to 2,700 deaths from mesothelioma every year. To mark Safety and Health at Work Day we wanted to highlight the range of services Acorn Analytical Services provides to help protect yourself and those around you from his hidden killer. We’ll also … Read more

Asbestos is dominating the headlines once again

Asbestos – silent killer dominating national headlines once again

ASBESTOS has once again dominated the headlines this weekend with The Sunday Times focussing on the stories of real people who have been affected by this hidden killer. Research shows there could be as much as six million tonnes of asbestos contained within 1.5 million buildings in the UK – including 90% of hospitals and … Read more

Construction workers are at a much greater risk of being exposed to the dangers of asbestos

‘Asbestos awareness is crucial for everyone involved in the construction industry’

IF you work in the construction industry chances are you will come into contact with asbestos – perhaps without even realising it. With hundreds of thousands of buildings in the UK still believed to contain this highly dangerous material, even something as simple as drilling a hole could leave you vulnerable to exposure, and at … Read more