Asbestos left strewn at a bus shelter in Sydney’s inner west has drawn the ire of locals as the council fights with an uptick in illegal dumping.
Local residents have raised concerns as they travel through Cavell Avenue in Rhodes daily, walking their dogs or taking their children to school, and there are concerns that the local public transit routes have also been affected by exposure.
There is no clear understanding yet of how the material came to be strewn over the footpath, with some residents suggesting it has been either dumped or has come from a nearby construction site.
One local resident described it as “a tragedy waiting to happen”. The woman said she had removed asbestos from the mouth of her dog whilst walking it.
“I’m concerned about families with children at the bus stop. Bored children with idle hands will pick up anything.
Local councillor Andrew Ferguson explained that the council, amongst others across Sydney, has been hit with illegal asbestos dumping.
“Too much asbestos debris has been dumped over many decades including within the City of Canada Bay Council area.
“When it is identified, it needs to be immediately cleaned up to safeguard public health.
“Delays only lead to ongoing public exposure and risk for local residents.”
The City of Canada Bay Council has confirmed it is repairing the footpath and conducting remediation works as required.
“Investigations indicate that asbestos has appeared on the surface of the footpath after works from a third party on the site and on another occasion following strong rains disturbing the surface of the footpath,” a spokesman for the council said.
“Following a recent report from a resident, Council arranged for an inspection and cleaning of the footpath and subsequently scheduled the construction of a footpath to be completed in the next two to three weeks.”