News - Dec 19, 2023 Nauru Asbestos Containment and Removal Work at NCR Landfill nearing Completion

A major PacWaste Plus project activity is nearing completion in Nauru.  The work is a significant part of the programme investment in Nauru in assisting to remove stockpiled asbestos-containing materials (ACM) which were placed at the landfill over five years ago with the containers in which the ACM was stored having begun to deteriorate.

The programme project funding was provided to remove the ACM from these containers, repackage the material, place it into new seaworthy containers, and then transport the waste off-island for final disposal.

The onsite field activities began a few weeks ago.  The work location was prepared at the landfill which included the deployment and positioning of air monitoring equipment, clearing needed areas for placement of shipping containers, provision of PPE and safety equipment, undertaking needed field RPE testing, etc.

New seaworthy shipping containers for this work, four 20-foot empty containers and one, 20-foot container with ACM handling materials arrived at the port in Nauru in November and were deployed to the work site.  The deteriorating containers located at the landfill with ACM were then opened and the stockpiled ACM waste was assessed.

The stockpiled ACM waste was then double-wrapped and placed on certified pallets, double-wrapped with 200-micron plastic, and strapped down to the pallets using a nylon strapping machine. When this was done, the material was then placed into the new seaworthy containers and sealed.  The containers were vacuumed clean, wet wiped, and closed to ensure no ACM waste remained.

Constant air monitoring and sampling were done during this work to ensure the safety of workers and any others in the vicinity of these activities. Moving forward, these new containers with the ACM waste will be transported from the NCR Landfill to the port.  There they will be uploaded onto a cargo ship and transported to New Zealand for final disposal.  This work will occur over the next few months.

In addition to this work asbestos abatement training was provided to 52 local staff and personnel in Nauru.  The training, AUS/NZ standard CPCCDE3014A, Remove Non- friable Asbestos, covers the safe removal of non-friable asbestos and asbestos-containing materials.