What you need to know about asbestos

Introduction 

When doing renovation or alteration work, a certain amount of waste is produced and has to be eliminated. Indeed, topsoil, rubble, wood or even clean plaster are materials that in principle do not pose any problem for removal. However, in spite of its prohibition since several decades, asbestos is a dangerous and toxic component for health. It is characterized by natural mineral fibers that are resistant to fire, heat and acids. Asbestos is known for its electrical and thermal insulation capabilities. This natural rock, widely used between the 1950's and 1990's, is still very present (about 80% in Switzerland) on most construction sites in many buildings. It is thus impossible to list all the various types of asbestos, but here is a list of the most popular ones:

  • Tiles
  • Floor covering
  • False ceilings
  • Fibrocement (roofs, facades, pipes)
  • Fireproof protections
  • Insulation
  • Neon lights, electrical outlets, window sills, radiators
  • Flocking
  • Bituminous waterproofing

The removal of these materials must be carried out by professionals with special equipment in order to avoid any serious health risk.  For more information on the identification of asbestos-containing products, the "SUVA" guidelines offer explanations on how to handle different asbestos-containing materials without incurring a health risk.

Laws requiring the separation and recycling of special waste

Articles 16 and 17 of the OLED (Ordinance on the Limitation and Disposal of Waste) require, on the one hand, the builder to establish a diagnosis to verify the possible presence of hazardous substances at the workplace and, on the other hand, to separate special waste from other types of waste.

According to the ordinance of the DETEC (Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications), asbestos-containing waste from construction sites is classified in section 17 06, commonly known as "Insulation materials and construction site waste containing asbestos". There are mainly three codes

17 06 01

Special Waste

Insulation materials containing asbestos

17 06 05

Special Waste Construction site wastes containing unattached or loose asbestos fibers

17 06 98

 

Construction wastes containing asbestos, other than those specified in 17 06 05

The objective is to determine the most common means of transportation for asbestos-containing materials and to classify them into the two existing categories:

  • - Type B landfill: these are controlled landfills for inert materials (DCMI)
  • - Type E landfill: these are bioactive controlled landfills (DCB)

 

Fiber cement

This asbestos-containing material, often called Eternit, is composed of cement and asbestos fibers in high quality.

Classification: type B landfill belonging to the code "17 06 98".

Packaging: tear-proof and transparent. The packaging can be transparent PE bags (polyethylene), dumpster bags or big bags.

 

Transport: The waste handler must complete a declaration of conformity for the materials delivered. This declaration must be submitted at the latest upon delivery.

Tile and earthenware glues

This material is usually extracted with a jackhammer, which generates a large amount of dust and therefore requires the intervention of a professional asbestos removal team.

Classification: type E landfill belonging to the code "17 06 05".

Packaging: the waste must be deposited in tear-proof and dust-proof PE plastic bags, marked "caution, contains asbestos". Specialized companies are in charge of packaging this type of waste.

Transport: for this type of waste, a follow-up document must be provided. This waste must not be unpacked at any time.

 

Synthetic floor coverings

These materials are grouped in two categories, multi-layered coatings that contain an asbestos insulation layer and those that contain asbestos fibers.

Classification: type E landfill belonging to the code "17 06 05"

Packaging: same as for tile adhesives

Transport: same as for tile adhesives

 

Insulation materials

As seen before, asbestos has a high resistance to high temperatures and fire.

Classification: type E landfill belonging to the code "17 06 01".

Packaging: same as for tile adhesives

Transport: same as for tile adhesives

 

How to dispose of your asbestos waste with Big Sack

Following the information mentioned above, it is only possible to get rid of one type of asbestos waste by yourself, namely asbestos cement. For all other types of asbestos-containing waste, a specialized team is required for packaging and transportation.

Big Sack offers a waste collection service for private individuals and professionals. Unlike traditional construction dumpsters, our solution offers a range of Big Sacks, available in several sizes.

Our customers order their Big Sacks from our website bigsack.ch and within two working days they receive them by post. When they are ready to fill them, they simply unfold them and finally have them disposed of at a time that is convenient for them.

To dispose of asbestos waste, you can order our special Big Sacks for asbestos, fill them in along with a document on the conformity of the materials to be disposed of and finally call us for the pick-up.

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