Asbestos dumpers slammed by MP

AN INVESTIGATION is under way after it was revealed potentially lethal asbestos is being dumped in and around an Essex town.At least 10 fly-tips of asbestos have been found in the Colchester area since early December and a clear-up operation has already cost taxpayers thousands of pounds.

AN INVESTIGATION is under way after it was revealed potentially lethal asbestos is being dumped in and around an Essex town.

At least 10 fly-tips of asbestos have been found in the Colchester area since early December and a clear-up operation has already cost taxpayers thousands of pounds.

Workers from the Environment Agency, who have been trying to clear the waste, warned last night that those responsible could face jail.

The fly-tips found so far have contained various types and quantities of material which looks to have come from a building or buildings which are being renovated.

Asbestos is classified as a hazardous waste and anyone transporting it for disposal must have the relevant license from the Environment Agency.

John Parish, an environment officer with the agency, called for people with information about the fly-tipping to contact them.

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He said: "It is completely irresponsible for anyone to dump asbestos. It is a hazardous material and must be disposed of properly.

"We greatly appreciate the help of the public in trying to catch the people doing this and hope that this fly-tipping will soon be stopped."

Colchester MP Bob Russell said he was appalled by the situation.

He said: "There are two aspects here in that it is a costly nuisance but that pales into insignificance against the dangers and I hope the culprits can be traced.

"I would hope that whoever dumped this material will be prosecuted and urge people to give any help where they can to finding them.

"We need a prosecution and an exemplary punishment handed down because these people are putting lives at risk.

"We have seen court cases where the people removing the asbestos from a building have been negligent but whether they did it deliberately is debatable, but this is just blatant."

Peter Chillingworth, cabinet member in charge of waste at Colchester Borough Council, said: "It is something to be deplored, the material could be dangerous and should be treated as potentially dangerous and the waste should be disposed of in an appropriate manner.

"There are specialists who can take the waste and dispose of it properly. It is an Environment Agency responsibility but at the same time we would deplore this kind of dumping."

Anyone with information about the fly-tipping, which has so far cost £4,000 to clear, should contact the agency on 08708 506506.

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