Removal and disposal

Removal of asbestos cement does not require a licence.

If the asbestos cement product is:

  • in good condition
  • is not likely to be damaged
  • is not likely to be worked on

then it may be safe to leave it where it is, otherwise you will need to seal it and remove it. If the removal of asbestos cement is required then it must be carried out safely taking the following precautions:

  • remove it whole wherever possible to keep the dust to a minimum
  • keep the material wet, it will need to be dampened thoroughly
  • wear a suitable disposable mask
  • use hand tools as opposed to power tools to keep dust to a minimum
  • wear suitable protective clothing, i.e. disposable boiler suit and gloves
  • keep the work area clean and tidy
  • make sure surfaces which may get covered in dust or debris are easily cleaned or are covered with plastic sheeting
  • wipe up residues with a damp cloth
  • keep other persons out of the area
  • double bag in a heavy polythene bag, label it and dispose of it safely


  • breaking up sheets (if possible)
  • spreading dust and debris, such as by sweeping or using power tools
  • creating piles of dust and debris
  • remember, asbestos roof sheets are fragile and there is a risk of falling through; use crawling boards or roof ladders


Asbestos cement from a domestic dwelling by householder only

Small broken bits should be damped down and double bagged. Sheets need to stay as whole as possible to prevent dust creation. Asbestos waste, whether it includes small amounts of waste or large scale removal is subject to waste management controls set out in the 1996 Special Waste Regulations. In the specific case of the householder, although Special Waste, the Environment Agency will not normally take enforcement action against a householder who does not consign the waste provided it is disposed of correctly.

For information on how householders can dispose of asbestos removed from their own domestic dwelling please visit the Recycle for Gloucestershire website.

Licenced removal

Work on asbestos insulation and lagging, including sealing and removing, must be carried out only by a contractor licenced by the HSE. Details of licensed contractors can be found on the ARCA website (Asbestos Removal Contractors Association) or HSE website (Health and Safety Executive). The HSE website also contains lots of useful information about the hazards associated with with asbestos removal and advice about safety precautions.

Disposal from non-domestic premises requires a licence and a consignment note from the Environment Agency, who should be contacted directly. Transport should be by a registered waste carrier. The Environment Agency will not normally take enforcement action for failure to consign bonded asbestos weighing less than 10kg.

Further advice on special waste can be sought from the Environment Agency.