Some of 17,000 tonnes of illegally dumped asbestos waste may be hiding in a rural property in Kulnura, say investigators. New South Wales police and investigators from the NSW Environment Protection Authority searched the property on Aug. 29.

This comes after detectives prevented a waste disposal company director from fleeing the country by plane earlier in the month. The company in question allegedly removed 600 truckloads of asbestos-containing building waste from the Green Square redevelopment and dumped the waste illegally. A police spokesperson further stated that investigators are linking the illegal dumping operation to organized crime.

Asbestos Waste Findings Surprise Property Owner

Soraya Van Tilborg, the owner of the Kulnura property, never expected the land to possibly be contaminated. According to her, “

[it] all looked very legitimate” and “everything seemed in order” when her family acquired the property.

If investigators are able to confirm that asbestos has contaminated the property, large-scale remediation will follow. However, a NSW police spokeswoman told reporters that concerned authorities are still not sure how much of the missing waste is hidden in the property.

EPA-licensed landfill facilities are the only legal option for disposal of asbestos-containing waste. However, as lawful removal of such waste entails additional expenses, industry players often “[misuse] that responsibility,” explains Tony Milligan, a licensed asbestos assessor and the managing director of Practical Environmental Solutions.

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