The Helensville Community Recycling Centre has been temporarily relocated to the old Downers site, immediately next door, as a precaution while an investigation into potential asbestos contamination on the site is carried out.
Suspicious material, which was likely brought to the recycling centre amongst other waste, was identified and isolated on Friday 23 September.
On Monday 26 September the decision was made to close the site and move the service to a temporary location, to allow for samples of the suspect material to be tested.
Helensville Enterprises Trust, which runs the Helensville Community Recycling Centre, has secured temporary use of the site next door, which is accessed down the same driveway as the original site.
Treena Gowthorpe, Helensville Community Recycling Centre site manager, says there has been fantastic support from the staff and the community during the changeover.
“Staff came in on their days off to help set up the new site and members of the community rushed in with donations to fill the new reuse shop.
“It was important to all of us that there be no inconvenience for our customers and that we would be open for business at the new site on Thursday with our full range of services available.
"Hours at the temporary site will be the usual Thursday to Sunday 8am to 4pm.”
Ian Stupple, Auckland Council Waste Solutions General Manager, says Auckland Council is working closely with Helensville Enterprises Trust.
“The health and safety of people comes before anything else. We are fully supportive of the work the Helensville Enterprises Trust carries out and ask the local community for patience while investigations are carried out,” he says.
The materials identified are considered low hazard and recent air monitoring detected no exceedance of guideline fibre levels in the air.
If testing indicates asbestos contamination, the material will be located and removed in a carefully managed way. The current investigation of the site will determine if any further remedial action is required and a plan will be developed accordingly. The council is receiving specialist advice on containment and management.
We hope to provide an update, following the testing, in the coming weeks.
Disposal of asbestos containing material
Asbestos is not uncommon in buildings constructed before the early 1980s, but it should be removed by Worksafe accredited removers, and disposed of at certified landfills. Find out more about asbestos removal.