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Can I bury asbestos in my garden?

Burying asbestos in your garden can be very dangerous, especially to unsuspecting people who may dig up the soil at a later date. While there may be no specific law preventing someone from burying asbestos waste in a garden, the demolition and removal of asbestos is a highly regulated activity. Once buried, the land surrounding the site where the asbestos has been buried becomes classed as ‘contaminated’.

If later identified by a survey of your property (or even if a neighbour reports you for burying asbestos in your garden) the land may consequently be registered on land registry searches as contaminated by your local Council; making it very difficult to sell at a later date under Statutory Contaminated Land laws.

 

Burying asbestos in your garden may make it difficult to sell your property

Some mortgage lenders may refuse to lend against a property that contains hazardous waste or which has been classed as ‘Contaminated Land’ (see Part IIA legislation which has resulted in an increased awareness among mortgage lenders of possible liabilities associated with contaminated land).

Contaminated Land is:

any land which appears to the local authority in whose area it is situated to be in such a condition, by reason of substances in on or under the land, that –

a) significant harm is being caused or there is significant possibility of such harm being caused; or

b) pollution of controlled waters is being, or likely to be caused.ˆ

ˆSource:(Section 78A (2) of part IIA – Environmental Protection Act 1990)

If you’re a company, unwanted asbestos is likely to be considered as Hazardous Waste, which must be disposed of correctly. See EM9 Disposal of Asbestos Waste for clarification in your part of the UK. The law is different for the Dutyholder of a business premises or property and you could be prosecuted if you fail to adhere to legislation surrounding managing and disposing of asbestos.

The cost of land remediation in the event of contamination far exceeds that of having asbestos professionally removed in the first place and it is therefore advisable to seek professional advice on the disposal of asbestos waste products.

Don’t just dump contaminated asbestos waste – it may be hazardous to someone else in the future and may end up costing you more than you think. You could also end up with a fine or prosecution.

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