A friend has asked me about the removal of textured coatings from concrete walls and ceilings within flats due for demolition in Scotland. The plan is to scrape the textured coating AFARP and for the remaining residues to remain on the concrete. Following demolition, the concrete is due to be crushed and re-used on the site. The special waste regulations allow for 0.1% asbestos in waste materials (obviously not a whole asbestos product). From a belt and braces compliance perspective, is there any other justification for this course of action, or any justification as to why this course of action may not be legally appropriate.
All depends on your definition of SFARP, I guess.
Any identifiable ACM in ‘mixed waste’ means all of that waste is ‘special waste’ (hazardous waste in the rest of GB), as the ACM contains >0.1% asbestos.
Moreover, a Waste Management Licence (Environmental Permit in the rest of GB) for the production of recycled aggregate prohibits the crushing of hazardous substances, i.e. asbestos.
Furthermore, if any such recycled aggregate is found to contain asbestos, the asbestos will be deemed to have been ‘intentionally added’, unless evidence to the contrary is adduced in any proceedings under REACH (where recycled aggregate is considered an ‘article’).
Given that it’s generally impossible to remove all traces of asbestos from buildings prior to demolition, however, some leeway must be afforded. So best to put in place a robust plan.
a) either segregate material where ACMs are present in the demolition arisings and dispose as special/hazardous waste, or
b) have a comprehensive removal plan, supervise, inspect, test to ensure ‘no asbestos’ or ACMs are present pre-crushing, and post-crushing, to establish suitability for use, e.g. the aggregate complies with the Aggregate Protocol and the Highways Specification and is not a waste.
Have all of this fully documented. That would be your evidence that you went to appropriate lengths to ensure that ‘no asbestos’ got into the aggregate. You then might be able to argue that any positive test results of ‘trace’ or <0.001% w/w are acceptable.
The last thing you want is a notice from the Revenue demanding payment of Landfill Tax for an illegal deposit of waste and an enforcement from SEPA/EA/NRW and a big clean-up bill.