Residents’ asbestos fears

The roofing yard on Orchard Street, Kimberley, that is the the centre of an asbestos concern.
The roofing yard on Orchard Street, Kimberley, that is the the centre of an asbestos concern.

Residents in Kimberley say asbestos roofing was disposed of near their homes without proper precautions.

Michael Kelly, of Main Street, said neighbours witnessed asbestos roofing being loaded into a skip in Orchard Street without it being appropriately lined and covered.

Mr Kelly said: “I’m livid. The weather has been so warm over the last couple of weeks and the doors and windows have been open.

“I’ve got two small children. I’m so, so angry – just livid.

“You only need one spec of this stuff in your lungs and that’s it. My neighbour saw them sweeping up afterwards – unbelievable.

“I’ll be finding out who is responsible for this and taking it further,” he added.

The 55-year-old said bags of tiles had been put on top of the asbestos roofing, which could crush the asbestos and create dust.

Mr Kelly rang the company in Ilkeston who owned the skip to warn them about the asbestos and the way it had been disposed of.

“They came and collected it despite me warning them,” he said.

“So they drove away with it clattering around in the skip, probably spreading dust everywhere.

“I rang them back and said to them they put me and everyone else in the area at risk, despite me warning them beforehand.”

Mr Kelly and two of his neighbours have made complaints to the Health and Safety Executive, he said.

His neighbour also witnessed men with high visibility jackets taking the sheets of roofing from a building off Orchard Street and putting them in the skip.

“She told me they were sweeping up afterwards as well. I thought terrific,” he said.

“Luckily it’s raining now but it has been really sunny and windy so all that stuff has been blowing around.

“My wife is really angry and upset – dumbfounded.”

Roy Plumb, who owns the hardware store in James Street, where the work was carried out, had asked B&S Roofing to remove the roof from his outbuildings behind his premises.

“I asked them to remove it and asked if they were doing it properly and they said yes. And that’s all I can tell you,” he said.

The manager of B&S Roofing, Steve Morley, said his company had followed instruction off Ward Recycling where the skip was hired from.

“It was disposed of exactly how they told us to do it,” he said. “ They said as long as none of the asbestos was exposed they were fine with it. We put roof sheeting on the bottom and then 100 bags of tiles were put on top so none of it was exposed.

“We took direction from people who deal with hazardous waste. I followed instruction from Ward Recycling which was as long as none of it was exposed then it was fine.”

Finance director at Ward Recycling in Ilkeston, James Balfour, said the skip should have been lined and covered with polythene – but it wasn’t.

“When we hire out a skip for cement bonded asbestos we give clear instruction to the contractor using the skip that it must be lined with polythene so that, when full, the polythene can be sealed to fully enclose the material.

“We also advise that any broken pieces need to be double bagged before being placed in the skip.

“When we arrived to collect this container it was obvious that the contractor had not followed the correct procedure.

“Our driver contacted the office for instruction and was advised to seal the container with a tarpaulin and net the load so it could be taken to a secure disposal point rather than leave it in a public area”.

He also said pieces of broken roof should have been double bagged.

“With asbestos we put a tarpaulin over it and net it, which we did, but it should have been lined with polythene before the asbestos went in, and enveloped up at the end to seal it and it wasn’t.

“We thought it better to go ahead and get rid of it rather than leave it there.”