Push for cheaper asbestos removal in NSW

Dominica Sanda

The NSW government is facing calls to cut the cost for residents to remove and dispose of asbestos legally and safely.

The Biaggio Signorelli Asbestos Foundation, set up to raise funds and create awareness of asbestos-related diseases, wants a review of the state's asbestos waste levy.

NSW metropolitan residents cop a $141.20 fee per tonne while regional residents pay $81.30 per tonne to dump rubbish at council facilities. Some depots are imposing extra charges to get rid of asbestos, the charity says.

These costs often deter people from removing asbestos legally, resulting in a rise in illegal dumping and unsafe handling of asbestos across NSW, foundation chairman Paul Signorelli said.

"It costs about five times more to clean asbestos up when you legally dump it," Mr Signorelli told AAP on Wednesday.

"If it's expensive, it prompts people to illegally dump it."

The charity was established after Mr Signorelli's dad - Biaggio Signorelli - died from mesothelioma, an asbestos-related cancer, 10 years ago.

Through the campaign, Mr Signorelli hopes the government and local councils will come together to review the fees, make legal asbestos removal more affordable and increase awareness of the deadly fibres.

"It'svitallyimportantthatweeducatethecommunityaboutthedangersofasbestos,aswellas makesafeandlegaldisposalaffordableandaccessibleforall," he said.

Across the country, other states including South Australia have scrapped their asbestos waste levy, while Queensland is planning to re-introduce it after ditching the levy in 2012.