Dangerous asbestos found dumped in Banbury woodland
The sheets were discovered by a farmer feeding his sheep in a secluded area in Nethercote.
Cherwell District Council is carrying out an investigation and is appealing for witnesses who may have seen suspicious activity at a layby near Blacklocks Hill in the first week of October.
Although materials containing asbestos are not regarded as harmful if in good condition and left undisturbed, they can produce cancer-causing fibres when moved or damaged.
Debbie Pickford, councillor for clean and green, said: “This is a very disappointing act and the council is determined to hold the offenders to account.
“Based on the amount of material recovered, we suspect a firm of contractors or a rogue waste collection service may have been involved. The sheets of asbestos were very carefully placed to keep them out of public view, showing a callous element of premeditation.
“Asbestos requires specialist handling, and there are lots of professional contractors covering our district who can dispose of it safely and legally. I urge anyone who has any information about this dangerous fly-tip to contact the council so our enforcement team can investigate.”
Asbestos can be found in any building built before the year 2000.
Illegal waste disposal in a public place is an offence punishable by a fine of up to £50,000, or 12 months imprisonment if convicted in a magistrates’ court. The offence can attract an unlimited fine and up to five years’ imprisonment for perpetrators convicted in a crown court.
Anyone with information about this or another fly-tip in the district should contact Cherwell District Council in confidence on 01295 227007.
Sheets of cement-bonded asbestos can be taken to Ardley, Redbridge of Dix Pit waste recycling centre and disposers must telephone 24 hours in advance.