Homeowner calls for improved asbestos removal policies

Outdated, inaccurate information and other challenges concerning the management and disposal of asbestos-contaminated waste

  • Mar. 14, 2016 10:00 a.m.

Scott Stanfield

Record staff

Patricia Foster was surprised, if not shocked, when she discovered asbestos in drywall plaster while renovating her Courtenay home to create a granny suite for her mother.

“I felt that it was a moral responsibility to find out all I could as opposed to exposing the contractor and his staff – which included my 22-year-old daughter — to the problem,” the registered nurse said at a presentation at Thursday’s meeting of the Comox Strathcona Waste Management (CSWM) board.

“I see this as an important health issue.”

It becomes an issue when drywall is removed and dust particles released. Before 1990, asbestos was largely used for insulating buildings and homes against cold weather and noise.

It was also used for fireproofing, according to the Government of Canada website. Inhaling asbestos fibres can cause cancer and other diseases.

However, there are virtually no health risks if materials containing asbestos are tightly bound in products, sealed behind walls and floorboards, isolated in an attic and left undisturbed.

Foster noted outdated, inaccurate information and other challenges concerning the management and disposal of asbestos-contaminated waste. She offered several recommendations for the regional district concerning its management and disposal:

•Provide poly bags at cost;

•Create an education/prevention awareness campaign for the public and contractors;

•Provide a fact sheet for asbestos removal and disposal, and update in a timely manner;

•Consider creating a temporary, covered storage site at the dump for bagged asbestos waste.

The CSWM board approved a staff recommendation to submit a request to the Nanaimo Regional District board to establish an agreement to accept asbestos and asbestos-containing materials from the CSWM service area at their landfill.

The agreement would extend to the end of 2017 with an option to renew for one year.

Such material is not accepted for disposal at waste management centres in the Comox Valley or Campbell River. Residents and commercial haulers with asbestos are directed to the Victoria Hartland landfill, the only facility where out-of-region material is being accepted.

The Nanaimo landfill is not accepting out-of-region material without a prior written agreement.


Just Posted

Comox Valley Operation Christmas Child shoebox drive entering final days

Deadline for donations is Saturday, November 17

2019 dog licenses now available for Comox Valley Regional District electoral area residents

The Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) requires all dogs over six months… Continue reading

Agreement signed to purchase, restore, manage Kus-kus-sum

A memorandum of understanding has been officially signed to purchase, restore and… Continue reading

Cumberland moves one step closer to single-use plastic ban

Council discussed a phased ban, starting with plastic bags and straws

Police investigate liquor store robbery in Courtenay

On Nov. 13 at approximately 12:30 p.m., the Comox Valley RCMP received… Continue reading

People flocking to Vancouver Island city to see hundreds of sea lions

Each year the combination of Steller and California sea lions take over Cowichan Bay

International students hit hard by B.C. tuition fee hikes

Campaign seeks regulatory controls be imposed on post-secondary institutions

Mid Island Farmers Institute discusses fleece at November meeting

Are you a lover of wool and local fibre? Interested in raising… Continue reading

Comox Valley Nature invites the public to learn about nature photography

Comox Valley Nature is hosting a public lecture on photography. Join Terry… Continue reading

Trudeau pushes for more Saudi accountability in Khashoggi killing

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada is still seeking clear answers from Saudi Arabia about what happened to Jamal Khashoggi

School bullying video shows how people with disabilities are devalued: advocates

Brett Corbett, who has cerebral palsy, is seen in a video being stepped while lying in water

CFL will use extra on-field official to watch for illegal blows to quarterback

If the extra official sees an illegal blow that has not already been flagged, they will advise the head referee, who can then assess a penalty for roughing the passer

Older B.C. drivers subsidizing younger ones, study finds

ICBC protects higher-risk drivers, pays for testing costs

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh weighs in on Vancouver Island fishing ban

Singh and MacGregor say improving salmon abundance is important

Most Read