Asbestos and Drywall

Asbestos - Risks and Safe Handling

Learn about the risks and how to properly handle materials that may contain asbestos from these resources:

BC Ministry of Health 
WorkSafeBC on asbestos 
WorkSafeBC brochure for homeowners 
Metro Vancouver handout on testing for asbestos 

Disposal of Materials That May Contain Asbestos

When beginning a renovation or demolition project, find out if the waste materials in your home may contain asbestos.

Materials That May Contain Asbestos – renovation or demolition materials such as: gypsum wall board, ceiling texture, wall tape and mud compound, floor tile and attic insulation.

Up until 1990, asbestos was used in the manufacturing of gypsum wall board, ceiling texture, wall tape and mud compound, linoleum flooring, as well as attic insulation. When these asbestos containing materials are disturbed (drilled, sawed, sanded, or broken up during renovation or demolition), workers or building occupants can breathe in hazardous asbestos fibres.  Exposure to asbestos has been linked to permanent lung damage. Anyone conducting a renovation or demolition project on a building suspected of containing pre-1990 building material should be aware of the risks and avoid exposure to asbestos. Materials that may contain asbestos should not be disturbed or removed without adequate knowledge and protective equipment. 

When it comes to the disposal of renovation of demolition material that may contain asbestos, the key date is whether the building material was manufactured BEFORE 1990 or AFTER 1990.

  • If renovation or demolition materials were installed AFTER 1990, you can safely remove and dispose of the materials at a CSRD refuse disposal facility, in accordance with the CSRD Disposal of Materials that May Contain Asbestos - Disposal Guidelines.
  • If renovation or demolition materials were installed BEFORE 1990, these materials should be tested for the presence of asbestos (this involves the collection of samples by a qualified professional and analysis by an accredited laboratory), OR

  • Safely handle and dispose of the material as though it does contains asbestos in accordance with the CSRD Disposal of Materials that May Contain Asbestos - Disposal Guidelines.

If testing confirms the waste material DOES NOT contain asbestos:

  • The materials can be safely removed and disposed in accordance with the CSRD Disposal of Materials that May Contain Asbestos - Disposal Guidelines at any CSRD Refuse Disposal Facility. 

If testing confirms the waste material DOES contain asbestos:

  • A qualified asbestos abatement company should be contacted to properly manage the safe removal and disposal, OR
  • A competent asbestos management consultant should be contacted for guidance on how to carefully remove the material so as not to contaminate the rest of your home, AND
  • The material should be disposed in accordance with CSRD Disposal of Materials that May Contain Asbestos - Disposal Guidelines at a CSRD Refuse Disposal Facility.

For further information on working with asbestos please visit the WorkSafe BC website at www.worksafebc.com.

Disposal Guidelines for Materials that May Contain Asbestos

To protect workers at CSRD Refuse Disposal Facilities from exposure to Asbestos-Containing Materials, the CSRD has created guidelines and procedures for accepting construction, renovation and demolition waste with materials that may contain asbestos. 

The CSRD has identified three categories of Materials That May Contain Asbestos:

Category 1 - AFTER-1990 Renovation/Demolition Waste - Delivered to a CSRD Transfer Station OR Landfill

Definition:  These materials consist of previously used Renovation/Demolition Materials where the origin, age and content of the material is known to have been installed after December 31, 1989. This does not include new construction materials (See notes below).

Disposal Instructions:

  • Materials must be easily accessible for inspection by site attendant prior to off-loading
  • Materials must be deposited into the appropriate location for disposal.
  • Materials must be accompanied by a signed Asbestos Declaration and Acknowledgement Form.

Notes:  New construction materials consists of unfinished cuts of gypsum (also called “cut offs”) and other materials resulting from new construction. New construction materials do not require the completion of an Asbestos Declaration and Acknowledgement Form. 

The Asbestos Declaration and Acknowledgement Form is available at the link and also at all CSRD Landfills and Transfer Stations.

 

Category 2 - BEFORE-1990 Renovation/Demolition Waste - Delivered to a CSRD Transfer Station

Definition:  PRE-1990 (Before 1990) Renovation/Demolition Waste consists of Materials that may Contain Asbestos installed before December 31, 1989 OR where the origin, age and content of the renovation/demolition materials are unknown. 

PRE-1990 Renovation/Demolition Waste materials are deemed to be Asbestos-Containing Waste Material and must be handled and disposed accordingly.

Disposal Instructions:

  • PRE-1990 (Before 1990) Renovation/Demolition Waste is accepted for disposal at all CSRD Transfer Stations.
  • Materials must be double-bagged and sealed in plastic bags that are at least 6 mil thick (0.006 inches) before arriving at a CSRD Transfer Station.
  • Material must be deposited in the appropriate location for disposal as directed.

Notes:  PRE-1990 Renovation/Demolition Waste is assumed to contain asbestos unless it is accompanied by a declaration form that includes lab results from a qualified professional. Asbestos-Free Waste Materials do not need to be separated from regular household waste, and are accepted as regular refuse.  

The Asbestos Declaration and Acknowledgement Form is available at the link and also at all CSRD Transfer Stations.

 

Category 3 - BEFORE-1990 Renovation/Demolition Waste - Delivered to a CSRD Landfill

Definition:  PRE-1990 (Before 1990) Renovation/Demolition Waste consists of Materials That May Contain Asbestos installed before December 31, 1989 OR where the origin, age and content of the renovation/demolition materials are unknown. 

PRE-1990 Renovation/Demolition Waste materials are deemed to be Asbestos-Containing Waste Material and must be handled, disposed of and charged accordingly.

Disposal Instructions:

  • PRE-1990 Renovation/Demolition Waste is accepted for disposal at all CSRD Landfills.
  • Material that is double-bagged and sealed in plastic bags that are at least 6 mil (0.006 inches) thick may be directed to an internal transfer station at the landfill site (if equipped).
  • Bulk loads (loose/un-bagged) material will require the completion and approval of a CSRD Controlled Waste Application Form prior to entering a CSRD landfill for burial.
  • Materials must be deposited in the appropriate location for disposal as directed.

Notes:  PRE-1990 Demolition/Construction Waste is assumed to contain asbestos unless it is accompanied by a declaration form that includes lab results from a qualified professional.  Asbestos-Free Waste Materials do not need to be separated from regular household waste, and are accepted as regular refuse.

The Controlled Waste Application Form is available on the CSRD website at csrd.bc.ca.