Trees & Vegetation on Private Property
For impacted properties, small amounts of felled trees and burnt vegetation can be disposed of at your local waste facility. Please contact Cessnock City Council on 02 4993 4100 for information on what supports Council are able to provide. Contact Service NSW on 13 77 88 if you need help with waste clean-up and disposal, as eligibility criteria applies.
Copper chrome arsenate (CCA) is a wood preservative used to protect wood from rotting, fungi and insects. Burnt CCA-treated timber will contain arsenic. The SafeWork NSW provides information on safe disposal of CCA-treated timber and ash and steps you can take to protect your health.
Freshly treated CCA-timber can be identified by its yellow/greenish colour which fades to grey over time. It is not always easy to identify if a product is CCA-treated timber and if in doubt it is important to treat the timber as if it does contain CCA.
Small amounts of CCA-treated timber ash can be placed in a sealed plastic bag and disposed of at your local waste facility. Larger amounts of CCA-timber ash can be disposed of at the nearest suitable landfill. Please contact Cessnock City Council on 02 4993 4100 for information. Ash must be double bagged and sealed to ensure it’s contained during transport and handling. Do not put CCA-timber or ash in your garden organics bin.
Visit this website for more information.
Hazardous Materials & Asbestos
Buildings and other structures damaged in a bushfire leave health and safety hazards in the remaining debris and ash. If a fire-damaged building was built before 1990, it is likely to contain asbestos.
A fire damaged asbestos building does not generate significant levels of asbestos fibers in the air unless it is disturbed. Although it is generally low risk to walk around or nearby asbestos damaged buildings, risks can increase when the material is disturbed.
The site will need to be continually damped down so as not to cause dust or be sprayed with polyvinyl acetate (PVA), or a similar sealant, to reduce the risk of the asbestos fibers becoming airborne (further reapplication requirements need to be monitored). This needs to continue until the site is cleaned up. Dust suppression should not be so great that it causes runoff into nearby drains and waterways.
It is advisable you do not do any clean-up of asbestos yourself. Asbestos will be removed by a licensed asbestos removalist, who will ensure work is carried out safely.
All bushfire generated waste that contains asbestos must only be handled by appropriately trained people and disposed of at a landfill that can lawfully receive this type of waste. The nearest suitable landfill can be located by contacting Cessnock City Council on 02 4993 4100.
For more information on asbestos management, visit the SafeWork website here.
Damaged Buildings or Structures
If you have damaged structures on your property and are insured, check with your provider about support for clean-up. At this stage, non-or under-insured properties will be required to self-manage structural clean-ups and disposals.