Last reviewed 13 May 2022

Most roofers and builders are law-abiding and take their duty of care seriously when it comes to waste management, the Environment Agency said, but it had decided to issue a general warning when its officers found a large amount of buried asbestos waste when executing a search warrant at a site in the South West.

The operator of the site was arrested by the police and questioned.

The Agency has highlighted that asbestos and other hazardous wastes require disposal by specialist contractors at sites that can legally and safely handle it. Mishandling it creates a serious risk to public health, the environment and wildlife.

Speaking for the Environment Agency, Kevin Baker said: “Tradespeople that create waste, especially during activities like construction and roofing, must make sure that waste goes to a site legally able to accept it. Roofing tiles often contain asbestos so make sure you know what you’re dealing with.”

Unscrupulous people posing as genuine waste collectors cause serious harm to the environment by taking construction waste and dumping it, he went on.

When waste is transferred between different parties, it needs a waste transfer note, Mr Baker pointed out, and anyone asking for cash for tipping and providing zero paperwork needs to be viewed with suspicion.

Construction businesses must use a registered waste carrier to collect, recycle or dispose of their waste and they are advised to check the Environment Agency public register of waste carriers at environment.data.gov.uk.