Asbestos is a hazardous waste. It must be handled with extreme care and can only be disposed of at special landfill sites.

The use of asbestos insulation is now banned. In the 1950s and 1960s it was used as a building material and as a result there is a low level of asbestos in the air everywhere.

The hazards of asbestos

The risk to the public from asbestos in the home is low.

The health risks of asbestos are higher when asbestos is damaged or if the material is:

  • drilled
  • sawn
  • scrubbed or
  • sanded

This can release microscopic asbestos fibres. They can be harmful if someone breathes them in.

Identifying asbestos

If you suspect that a material might contain asbestos:

  1. do not carry out work on it
  2. seek expert advice

The Asbestos Information Centre (AIC) has compiled lists to help identify asbestos in the home.

You cannot identify asbestos material by looking at it. The only way to know for sure whether a product contains asbestos and what type is to have it tested.

You can find out how to deal with asbestos on the HSE website.

If you discover asbestos in your home it's best to seek advice immediately. ARCA (Asbestos Removal Contractors Association) can help you find an authorised contractor to remove it.

Disposing of asbestos

Do not:


Report an asbestos concern

City of London operates a Household Hazardous Waste Collection and Disposal Service (HHWCDS)

The City of London operates a Household Hazardous Waste Collection and Disposal Service (HHWCDS) on our behalf. This service is for small amounts of domestic asbestos waste.

You can arrange the collection of cement asbestos. This needs to be:

  • double wrapped and
  • sealed in building sacks

The City of London will not dismantle or wrap asbestos for you.

Sutton residents can request one asbestos collection per year. You may need to pay towards a collection, depending on the quantity.

Commercial operators

If you use a commercial operator to remove and dispose of your asbestos waste, they must:

  • be a licensed carrier and
  • dispose of the waste at an approved site

As a householder you have a duty of care to get a waste transfer note from the operator, under The Hazardous Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2005. The waste transfer note is a document that must show:

  • the name and address of the operator
  • the operator’s licence number and vehicle registration
  • your address and
  • the final disposal site

Disposing of larger or amounts or commercial waste

If you have larger amounts of domestic asbestos waste or commercial quantities of asbestos waste, you'll need to:

  1. contact ARCA (Asbestos Removal Contractors Association)
  2. they will tell you of appropriate specialist contractors and disposal sites

Reporting fly tipped asbestos

If you see anyone dumping asbestos or other building material, you can make a fly-tipping report.