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7. Waste Disposal


Disposal of asbestos waste is becoming increasingly expensive and subject to more and more stringent regulations. In these circumstances, the best solution is to avoid, or minimize to the extent possible, the amount of waste created by adopting the most efficient production techniques, including recycling. Where it is impossible to avoid the creation of waste, it must be handled, transported and disposed of in accordance with national regulations or international practices.

7.1  Hard waste
In many situations, it is possible to recycle all hard waste back into the manufacturing process. If this is not feasible, hard waste must be disposed of according to local and national regulations. In general, disposal requirements depend on whether the asbestos waste is friable or non-friable. For example, most jurisdictions in North America do not consider non-friable, or hard waste, as a hazardous waste. As a non-hazardous waste, non-friable asbestos waste can be disposed of in any landfill, including municipal landfills that handle everyday household waste.

7.2  Friable waste
Friable waste is waste capable, when dry, of being crumbled, pulverized or reduced to powder by hand pressure. Sources of friable waste in a factory setting include: fine dust produced from debagging facilities, material conveyors, mixing equipment or such processes as sawing, sanding or machining, residue dust on brake drums in brake maintenance and repair shops, as well as waste products from the bag house or industrial ventilation systems.

Friable waste should be put in properly labelled, translucent bags (polyethylene) with a minimum thickness of 6 mil. Bags should be sealed immediately after filling, and stored in an area where they cannot be broken or otherwise disturbed. Where activities involving the disturbance of friable waste are likely to generate airborne fibres at concentrations which exceed permissible exposure limit values, workers should be equipped with appropriate personal protective equipment.

If there are no landfills specifically approved for friable asbestos waste in your country the best alternative is to use an industrial waste disposal site with a specific approval for asbestos containing waste. In case such should be neither available nor feasible, use a sanitary waste fill that meets the conditions required for disposal of asbestos-containing waste and look for an official approval.

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