This article “Free asbestos removal” covers where you can get free asbestos removal services. It will also give you an idea of the average cost of hiring a licensed asbestos contractor and a guide to choose an asbestos contractor.
Before we get on, let use refresh our mind of what asbestos is:
What is asbestos:
Asbestos is a group of six naturally occurring minerals composed of soft, flexible fibers that are heat-resistant. Asbestos is still used in hundreds of U.S. consumer products. Its use is allowed as long as it accounts for less than 1% of the product. Exposure to asbestos causes cancers and other diseases, including mesothelioma and asbestosis.
Risks of Asbestos
Asbestos is highly dangerous. Because the fibres in it are so small, they can cause serious illness and even death when inhaled.
The three primary diseases associated with asbestos exposure are:
- Asbestosis: This is a chronic, non-cancerous respiratory disease. Asbestos fibres are inhaled and irritate the lungs, causing the tissue to scar. It is untreatable and causes shortness of breath and pain when breathing. Asbestosis can be fatal in its later stages.
- Lung Cancer: Because asbestos is a carcinogen, many deaths related to it are due to lung cancer. Those who also are exposed to other carcinogens as well as asbestos (cigarette smoke, for example) are around 90 times more likely to develop lung cancer than those who have neither been exposed to asbestos nor smoked.
- Mesothelioma: This is a rare form of cancer often occurring in the thin membrane lining of the lungs, chest, abdomen, and – in rare cases – the heart. Cases of Mesothelioma are virtually all linked to continued asbestos exposure.
Read Also: What is Mesothelioma; who is at risk?
Free asbestos removal service providers
Here are some asbestos removal service providers you can contact for free removal of asbestos in your home:
City of London
The City of London provides a service for the removal of small amounts of asbestos from your domestic property. Further information is available from the City of London, Household Hazardous Waste Collection and Disposal Service (HWCDS).
Book a collection online or call 020 7332 3433.
Cement asbestos from households can also be left at the Hornsey Street Re-use and Recycling Centre, Hornsey Street, London N7 8HU by appointment only. Telephone 020 8884 5645 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange an appointment.
They offer a free collection service from your home for asbestos cement materials such as roofing sheets, pipes and guttering.
Once the asbestos is bagged and ready, they collect it within ten working days.
They are only able to collect and dispose of small amounts of wrapped and bagged cement asbestos from your home. If there are more than 6 bagged or wrapped packages you will need to contact an independent licensed asbestos disposal company.
- Get information about asbestos from your local council here
- Asbestos license contractor guide – License holders
Average Cost of Asbestos Removal
Asbestos removal costs will vary, depending on what needs to be removed.
A water tank in your home, for example, may cost you £200 – removal and disposal inclusive. However, a larger area like a garage could cost £2,500+ for removal and disposal.
The cost of asbestos removal can be high, but it’s a worthwhile investment – your home will be free of toxic materials. If you’re raising a family, it’s too important for health reasons to not do anything.
Even if you’re unsure, it’s worth getting in touch – the following councils provide help with asbestos removal:
- Essex County Council
This council will remove up to forty kilograms of asbestos cement at no charge.
- Bedford Council
They charge £206 for eight sheets, £260 for twelve, and £300 for sixteen.
- York Council
Reduced rate service for gutter, roofing, pipe, and cement asbestos removal. For £95, they will extract two hundred kilograms of asbestos.
- Richmond upon Thames Council
For £44, they will pull out up to two hundred kilograms.
Best practice when removing asbestos (Self-removed asbestos)
Where you need to remove and replace asbestos, get in touch with your local Environmental Health Officer for advice on the best course of action. You may need to employ specialist licensed contractors to deal with this hazardous material.
An up-to-date list of licensed contractors including the type of licence held is available on the HSE asbestos licensing information community page.
Asbestos materials should not be broken as particles of asbestos are hazardous to health. Access to the area should be restricted and the materials should be wet down to reduce the risk of dust. Anyone dealing with asbestos should wear protective clothing and masks.
Under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 you need to dispose of asbestos waste very carefully.
Please follow the process below in order to dispose of your asbestos waste at the tip:
- Visit the site and ask for an asbestos permit, taking with you proof of residence and identification.
- Once you have been issued with a permit you should purchase bags with which to contain the asbestos waste by making payment using the on-site payment machine.
- The bags cost £1 for a pair of the smaller size (26″ x 36″ or 66cm x 91cm) and £4 a pair for the extra large size (36″ x 48″ or 91cm x 121cm). Please bring exact change in coins as no change is available from the machine or staff on site.
- Information on safely working with asbestos and bagging it safely will be handed to you on the issue of a permit.
- Present the payment ticket to the supervisor who will issue you with the required number of bags. You cannot bring more bags of asbestos than you have a permit for.
- Return home and double bag the asbestos waste, as instructed, using the bags you have purchased from the HRC. No other bags will be accepted.
- Return to the HRC with your bagged waste, permit, proof of residence and identification, and alert a member of staff you have bagged asbestos with you.
- Once they have seen your permit and identification they will take your permit and direct you to the asbestos skip to dispose of your waste.