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ASbestos and your health

Found in more than 3,000 pre-1990s building materials, asbestos can be hiding in plain sight. Breathing in asbestos fibres can cause serious health problems, lung diseases and cancer. Before beginning a demolition or renovation, review these resources to keep you and your family safe from the risk of asbestos.

Materials That May Contain Asbestos

The following materials require testing for asbestos:

  • Ceiling tiles
  • Cement (transite) panels
  • Drywall
  • Drywall joint compound
  • Fire retardant cement board (not HardiePlank)
  • Flooring: vinyl tiles and linoleum sheet flooring; flooring adhesives (indoor or outdoor applications)
  • Stucco
  • Textured ceilings and coatings
  • Vermiculite (no testing required, contains asbestos)

There are separate procedures for recycling of drywall and for the safe disposal of materials that contain asbestos. Please review the separate sections below.

Recycling Drywall/Gypsum

Drywall/Gypsum Board is highly recyclable. The SCRD only accepts drywall for recycling that is clean, unused or tested with negative results for asbestos. Please see below for drywall acceptance requirements.

Drywall (with or without asbestos) cannot be disposed as garbage for landfilling in the Sechelt Landfill due to Provincial regulations and is instead recycled off-coast.

Clean and Unused Drywall/Gypsum

Clean drywall (never hung) boards and clean off-cuts from new construction can be brought to the Sechelt Landfill or Pender Harbour Transfer Station without testing required.

Note: Once clean unused pieces is mixed with used drywall, the entire load is categorized as used drywall and must meet the requirements for used drywall acceptance.

Used Drywall/Gypsum

Used drywall is accepted for recycling when accompanied with test results indicating there is no asbestos. Please carefully follow the following guidelines in order to ensure your drywall can be accepted.

Testing is required for:

  • Any drywall that has been up on a wall; or
  • Used drywall from a renovation or demolition; or
  • With signs of mud, joint compound, tape, paint or textured finishes; or
  • Used drywall from newer buildings.

Contact a qualified asbestos testing company before beginning any work.

The test results must accompany a load of drywall.

The lab analysis test results have to include:

  1. Name
  2. Address
  3. Results that state asbestos not detected, 0%, No Compound Found (NCF) or any other terminology that indicates asbestos not detected on ALL line items within the report.
  4. Dated within the previous 6 months.

Note: The SCRD cannot accept test results where drywall tests negative but other materials on the test result test positive for asbestos. Drywall tests are sent with your drywall to the processor where they verify with testing and cannot have other materials that have tested positive for asbestos listed on them.

The SCRD delivers the gypsum (with no asbestos) to New West Gypsum for recycling. They are the only gypsum recycling facility in BC. The SCRD faces large fines and possibly a ban from the facility should the gypsum be found to contain asbestos. New West Gypsum reviews all of the test results and conducts spot-tests prior to the load being accepted.

If there are any questions please contact Solid Waste Staff at or 604-885-6806.

Prohibited drywall/gypsum

Drywall from renovations that has been on a wall and is not accompanied by proper documentation will not be accepted.

Examples of why the materials would not be accepted:

  1. The material has not been tested at a laboratory or
  2. Lab results are older than 6 months, or
  3. Name and address are not on the lab results, or
  4. Documentation verifies that Asbestos was detected on any line item on the lab results

If testing shows asbestos content (“Detected”) for Drywall/Gypsum

  1. Contact a qualified asbestos abatement, removal and disposal company to assist with proper removal and disposal.
  2. Drywall/gypsum containing asbestos is not accepted at the Sechelt Landfill or Pender Harbour Transfer Station.

Warning: If you try to remove asbestos-containing materials yourself, or tear the tape/old mud off drywall boards, you risk exposing yourself and others to this hazardous material. Use a reputable company to reduce your risks.

Testing and disposal requirements for materials that may contain asbestos

The following materials may contain asbestos and require testing:

  • Ceiling tiles
  • Cement (transite) panels
  • Fire retardant cement board (not HardiePlank)
  • Flooring: vinyl tiles and linoleum sheet flooring; flooring adhesives
  • Stucco
  • Textured ceilings and coatings
  • Vermiculite (no testing required, contains asbestos)

If testing shows no asbestos ("Not Detected")

  1. Materials testing negative for asbestos can be delivered to the Sechelt Landfill or Pender Harbour Transfer Station during regular operating hours accompanied by negative test results, within 6 months of the test.
  2. Pay the disposal fee.

If testing shows asbestos ("Detected")
Materials testing positive for asbestos (other than drywall and joint compound with asbestos - see section on drywall above) may be disposed of at the Sechelt Landfill only. It is recommended to contact a qualified asbestos abatement, removal and disposal company to assist with safe removal, transportation and disposal.

The Sechelt Landfill requires the following disposal procedures:

  1. Bag using 6 mil clear bags
    Fill bag so you can easily lift with one hand to shoulder height. For long pipes, seal broken ends in 6 mil plastic.
  2. Securely seal
    Twist the unused top portion of bag into a tail, seal with duct tape at the base of the tail, bend leftover tail section around to make a loop, attach to base of the tail using duct tape.
  3. Double bag
    Place the first bag into the second bag and repeat sealing procedure. Wipe outside of bags with wet cloth.
  4. Clearly label as asbestos
  5. Schedule drop-off
    Call the Sechelt Landfill to schedule drop-off of your asbestos. Please provide the number of bags you would like to bring, the material inside the bag, your name and your phone number. You will receive a phone call back to schedule a time, which may take 1-2 weeks. Landfill staff need extra time to arrange for special landfilling procedures. If you must cancel, please call the Sechelt Landfill a minimum of 24 hours before your scheduled time.
  6. Deliver load
    At the schedule time, please bring your materials to the Sechelt Landfill. The disposal fee for Waste Asbestos applies.

Frequently Asked Questions can be found here.