35,000 tonnes of asbestos waste springs into being

Spectra 9 September 2009 14

The ABC brings us the rather intriguing news that the construction of the new ASIO HQ requires the removal of 35,000 tonnes of asbestos waste from the site. What’s odd is that, to the best of my knowledge (historians are free to correct me here) the site does not have, nor has it ever had anything on it. 35kT of asbestos waste is an awful lot to find anywhere, particularly a never-built-upon patch of earth. This leads me to jump, without any basis beyond wild speculation, to one of two conclusions. Either:

  • The site was used for dumping when all the surrounding buildings were being constructed, or
  • There’s a fair bit of interesting stuff underground there that nobody is meant to know about.

While the second option makes for a great story, I suspect the “we’ll use any open patch of ground as a dump” story is more likely.

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14 Responses to 35,000 tonnes of asbestos waste springs into being
wishuwell wishuwell 3:27 pm 11 Sep 09

Ceej1973. Tarago was an old mine that for a number of years now has been accepting rubbish from Sydney transported by rail and dumped into the old workings holes and resulting byproduct (methane gas etc) has been harvested for energy.

Hercsie Hercsie 3:20 pm 11 Sep 09

Both linked stories talk about “including traces of asbestos” or “may contain asbestos” not that the total volume of waste is made up of asbestos

Ceej1973 Ceej1973 2:09 pm 11 Sep 09

ABC news is reporting that some of it is going to a big dump out near “a town close to Tarago”. I am mostly confused about the opening paragraph of article! Tarago is pretty much a small town (village more like it). So what town near Tarago could be smaller than Tarago itself?

taninaus taninaus 7:47 am 10 Sep 09

TWas the way of the world in the 60’s and 70’s that builders were allowed to dump building rubble in certain spots without any controls on what was dumped, or monitoring what. it is only when someone wants to develop it that it becomes a problem. the rubbish isn’t usually 100% bad stuff, but any bit contaminates the lot. Think big containers rather than double wrapped for such large volumes. This all happened when the big A didn’t send alarm bells ringing like it does now.

Gungahlin Al Gungahlin Al 4:18 pm 09 Sep 09

It would now seem that Katy, acting as Jon, is having second thoughts:
Perhaps they could buy enough plastic.

DarkLadyWolfMother DarkLadyWolfMother 2:53 pm 09 Sep 09

Harold Holt was abducted by a UFO which crashed just where the new ASIO building is going. The whole thing was quickly covered up by the Free Masons, who secretly controlled the Government of the day. The new building for ASIO is just a front for moving the UFO to a newly built, but secret, Masonic Lodge, now that they have recovered enough ancient technology to be able to examine the UFO remains properly. The whole ‘asbestos’ thing is just a clever diversion to make people look at where the ‘asbestos’ is going, not where it came from.

How’s that work?

Snarky Snarky 1:15 pm 09 Sep 09

Not having anything better to do over lunch… 🙂

If the density of asbestos is about the same as the density of fibro cement (the stuff that replaced it), then 1 cubic metre weighs about 1700kg. So, 35,000 tonnes = about 20,500 cubic metres of asbestos, which would be a cube of the stuff 27.5 metres on each edge, or a cube about 10 storeys tall.

And if it was in (say) 10mm thick roofing sheets, then it’d be enough to roof over an area about 4.5km square, or pretty much all of the city from Russell to ANU and from the north edge of the lake to Watson.

And if asbestos is less dense then it’d cover even more ! 🙂

pmcb pmcb 12:41 pm 09 Sep 09
Gungahlin Al Gungahlin Al 12:37 pm 09 Sep 09

Mark Parton had a reply from the department talking about other asbestos waste being accepted at the Murrumbateman tip, assuring that it would all be double wrapped in plastic and deep buried. I asked Mark how the 31,000 tonnes from the ASIO site was also to be “double wrapped in plastic”. “Exactly what I’ve been wondering” he said.

Spectra Spectra 12:27 pm 09 Sep 09

Anyway I not suprised about asbestos being there in the first place as there were hundreds and hundreds of fibros and lean toos’ all over the Russell Hill and surrounding areas.

Your theory, while highly plausible and most likely correct, fails to satisfy the conspiracy theorist within me. Go away and come back with something more interesting. Preferably involving UFOs, Free Masons and the disappearance of Harold Holt.

(Thanks for the info though :)).

Hells_Bells74 Hells_Bells74 10:30 am 09 Sep 09

Maybe they needed to shift that much dirt for their underground world to come into happening.

** I know nothing!

Punter Punter 8:29 am 09 Sep 09

I recall seeing a program on ABC a few weeks back about this the name of which I can’t remember (4 corners maybe). Apparently a commercial deal was struck with the Yass Valley Council for an amount of soil from this site to be dumped at the Murrumbateman tip. A large amount of soil has already been delivered to the tip. The suggestion that the soil was contaminated with asbestos angered a number of Murrumbateman locals.

wishuwell wishuwell 7:42 am 09 Sep 09

I think the figure used is for the total amount of earth not total amount of asbestos. Seems soil samples have indicated contamination by asbestos (at what level it doesn’t matter) so off to the special tip with the whole lot of it. Anyway I not suprised about asbestos being there in the first place as there were hundreds and hundreds of fibros and lean toos’ all over the Russell Hill and surrounding areas. I can still remember seeing the odd one when I was a young kiddie exploring for treasure and the odd Jap.

phototext phototext 7:11 am 09 Sep 09

That is odd.

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