The owner of a family business is seething after dump trucks dumped a huge pile of asbestos right in front of his workshop.
Jonathan Foster discovered 25-foot-tall piles of the toxic material just meters from the entrance to his building on Saturday morning.
CCTV footage showed a lorry driving to the common industrial area in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, at 8.45pm on Friday, where it was dumping the hazardous waste.
Clouds of toxic dust swirled into the air as it was thrown from the truck after Acoustic Applications workers went home.
The 40-year-old is concerned about the deadly material’s close proximity not only to his workshop but also to surrounding homes.
Asbestos breaks down into tiny fibers that can penetrate deep into a person’s body and become lodged in their tissues.
And those who ingest the material can then be vulnerable to mesothelioma, a rare incurable cancer that can affect the lungs, heart and other organs.
After learning of the incident, Jonathan had to secure windows and doors to prevent deadly particles from getting inside.
He said he had contacted the council and the Health and Safety Agency (HSE) about the issue but felt they had simply “washed their hands” with it.
Almost a week later, the mountain of asbestos — about 25 feet by 15 feet — was still a stone’s throw from his yard.
Jonathan said, “It’s not great, there’s a lot of it right next to where we work.” It’s dangerous. We had to close all windows and doors.
“What kind of world do we live in where people find it acceptable to dispose of this hazardous waste?”
“Council doesn’t seem to mind as this is private property and HSE have referred us to local council.” But it’s asbestos. It needs to be cleaned up.
“Everyone washed their hands and said it wasn’t their problem.” And there’s nothing I can do about it.’
Jonathan said most of the asbestos dust had now blown away but feared it might have spread towards neighboring houses.
He said, “The wind blew most of the dust away.” But where did the dust go? Does it stick to the side of the building? It will be a pain to deal with.
“I feel more for the people here.” The video shows a rising cloud of dust. And unfortunately it has disappeared all around us.’
Footage, taken from a mechanic’s workshop, showed a truck full of asbestos maneuvering through the industrial area between 8.45pm and 9pm before dumping its load.
Jonathan said some of his team members learned of the incident within hours, but were told the next day it was asbestos.
Though he didn’t know who was responsible, he thought it was an opportunistic fly-tipper who had been waiting for the right moment to get rid of him.
He added, “I was told about it on Saturday.” It was obviously someone who had collected it. There are many small parts.
“If you look at it, you can see that it’s from many different places. It’s probably someone who lives here or not far away and just thought, “It’s time to throw it away.”
Antony Sadler, Wakefield Council’s service director for communities, said the local authority is working with the landowner to get the asbestos removed.
He said: “We are aware of the landfill site on Calder Vale Road in Horbury and are working with the landowner to clear this up as quickly as possible.”
“We will not condone fly-tipping and are committed to identifying and taking action against those responsible. We are investigating this recent incident.”
“Fly tipping is totally unacceptable.” It is detrimental to our district and we are fully committed to addressing this behavior, which constitutes a serious criminal offense.”
HSE officials and the property owner have been asked for comment.
Earlier this month it was revealed that the Palace of Westminster – better known as the Houses of Parliament – is riddled with asbestos.
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