Asbestos is hazardous waste and cannot be recycled or reused.

Asbestos in your home

  • always leave asbestos alone, it’s usually safe unless it’s damaged or disturbed
  • always seek advice before thinking of removing asbestos
  • do not attempt to remove asbestos lagging, spray coatings or large areas of insulation board by yourself as these materials can only be safely removed by a licensed contractor
  • it might be necessary to take a sample of the asbestos to identify the type, but always seek advice before doing so
  • paint indoor materials with an alkali resistant paint such as PVA emulsion, and never sand, drill or saw asbestos materials

How to safely remove asbestos cement

  • prepare the work area: remove any unnecessary items, cover the floor and surfaces with disposable polythene sheeting
  • wear protective clothing: disposable overall with hood, disposable paper face mask (for use with asbestos) and rubber or disposable gloves
  • damp down: use a plant sprayer or hosepipe but don’t soak the area as this will make cleaning up more difficult
  • remove the asbestos without breaking it up, wrap in polythene sheeting or bags and seal with tape
  • visually inspect the area and clear up any debris by hand: wipe down with disposable damp cloths. Never use a vacuum cleaner as this will just spread dust around
  • pick up polythene sheeting and remove protective clothing and dispose of both as asbestos waste
  • wash hands and face after the job is completed

Advice for households

Asbestos must not be put in with your general rubbish or recycling. Asbestos must be removed by a licensed company or (up to six sheets) taken to one of the following Surrey recycling centres:

For advice on what to do before you visit and asbestos cement materials accepted see Surrey County Council’s Asbestos waste webpage.

Advice for businesses

See the Health and Safety Executive website for the most appropriate methods of dealing with asbestos to fully comply with regulations, ensure maximum safety and protect your organisation from litigation.

Make sure any specialist company you choose is licensed with the Environment Agency to handle and dispose of asbestos waste.