A Burnaby woman took to social media after a pile of asbestos-filled bags were dumped in a nearby alleyway on Monday.
Former school trustee Mondee Redman said the asbestos had been taken from a house nearby and simply left in the alleyway, with no one watching them or working on the house.
Redman said the bags were still there, untouched, more than four hours later, with no action taken by the city to remove them.
“City of Burnaby has known about it for at least four hours,” Redman tweeted just before 6:30 p.m. on Monday.
Redman said that firefighters and police showed up around 9 p.m. and RCMP stayed to guard the pile of asbestos bags, which Redman had herself barricaded off earlier that evening.
— Mondee Redman 🍁 (@MondeeRedman) August 28, 2018
The city did not publicly respond until just before 9 a.m. on Tuesday morning, when it said that contractors were on site and that the bags should be removed in a few hours.
It noted that asbestos is only harmful when the dust becomes airborne.
“A hazard occurs when the asbestos is disturbed and the particles become air-borne,” the city posted on Twitter.
“The dust particles need to be inhaled to pose a hazard. Our protocol is to erect a barricade and ensure that the plastic bags cannot be disturbed.”
The city removed the the asbestos bags around noon Tuesday.