The recycling centre in St Margaret's Hope is currently closed due to the dumping of cement bonded asbestos at the site yesterday (Wednesday) by a member of the public.
The site has now been closed for the next two days for public protection whilst the materials are removed.
Orkney Islands Council can accept small quantities of cement bonded asbestos - but this is limited to up to six sheets, double wrapped and sealed - and only at Bossack in Tankerness. Anything more than six sheets needs to be pre-booked.
Asbestos can be found in any building built prior to 2000 and was widely used during the 1970s and 1980s to build houses and premises. Asbestos only poses a health risk if you disturb it.
You should never carry out major building, maintenance or demolition work on materials that you know or suspect contains asbestos, instead contacting a licenced contractor who can arrange to get the asbestos removed for you.
If you only plan to carry out minor work on asbestos containing materials, such as drilling holes for fixtures and fittings, repainting a ceiling or applying new plasterboard, you can do so provided that you’re appropriately trained and know how to assess the risks and work safely.
Jonathan Walters is Environmental Services Facilities Manager at Orkney Islands Council. He said: "From time to time householders may need to dispose of what's known as hazardous waste - whether that be asbestos, chemical or clinical waste. We need to ensure that this waste is disposed of properly and safely so additional rules are in place. Full details of these are available from the 'Hazardous Waste Materials' page and also through SEPA.
"Where householders don't stick to these rules, it can cause major disruption at our sites - as we can see with this incident. It also leads to contamination of some our recyclates meaning they can’t be sold on or used elsewhere – thereby reducing valuable income and adding additional cost burdens to the Council. If you witness misuse at any of the Recycling Centres please do not hesitate to contact the Council to advise and help us to minimise any disruption to our services to the public."