The Stirling Times received a phone call from a resident who said he had seen old ovens with asbestos lugs put out for verge collection, and was concerned for residents and City workers.
Robert Vojakovic, from the Asbestos Disease Society in Osborne Park, said items thrown out during verge collections can often contain asbestos, and residents must take more care when disposing of old whitegoods for their family’s and council workers’ safety.
‘The annual council verge collection is sometimes fraught with risk associated through exposure to asbestos fibres, in particular old electrical and gas appliances such as stoves, ovens, heaters and old hair dryers,’ Mr Vojakovic said.
‘This type of exposure to asbestos dust has a multiplicative effect, that is, the resident placing the appliance on the verge would have some exposure and indeed the public who are walking by or picking from the verge odds and ends would also be exposed to asbestos fibres.’
The City of Stirling said it was taking all possible precautions in dealing with old whitegoods that may contain asbestos lugs during verge collection.
City of Stirling acting manager of health and compliance Greg Ducas said the City took care when collecting whitegoods and residents should immediately contact the City if they believed an item contained asbestos.
‘Should residents have any concerns about items placed on verge collections, they should contact the City,’ Mr Ducas said.
‘The City would initially talk to the homeowner who has discarded the items to ensure they dispose of them properly, or in the cases of illegally dumped items that contain asbestos, the City will arrange disposal when required where there is a potential public health risk.’
Mr Vojakovic said council workers were often most at risk during verge collection if the council was not made aware of an appliance containing asbestos.
‘One must have regard to the unlucky council workers loading the appliances onto the collection trucks and off loading at the tip,’ Mr Vojakovic said.
‘Most likely the Council workers would not have a change of clothing at the end of their shift, they then bring the deadly asbestos dust home to their families.’