Replacement of the cement-asbestos roofings is one of the greatest environmental challenges for this decade. Building owners and administrators are legally obliged to remove such dangerous materials from their roofs by the end of 2032. Warsaw checked the progress in this matter with the help from AI. Having completed special training and machine-learning process, artificial neural network was commanded to detect asbestos roofings on Warsaw orthophotomap, which has been updated in 2021.
Whole procedure allowed the City to assess the number of roofs covered with cement-asbestos materials and their area, as well as to prepare new, detailed inventory of asbestos roofings. Every roof was assigned to a respective district and building type, thus the database makes for a useful and plentiful source of information on the asbestos issue in Warsaw. The data will also be sent to a central database managed by Ministry of Development and Technology of Poland.
Asbestos inventory in Warsaw was carried out with the financial support of the European Union, as a part of the Project "Capital Cities Collaborating on Common Challenges in Hazardous Waste Management - Yerevan, Warsaw, Tirana". Following the inventory, a report was prepared for the purposes of analogous inventory in Partner Cities, namely the City of Yerevan (Armenia) and the City of Tirana (Albania).
Assistance in asbestos removal
Before its harmful properties were discovered, asbestos was popular and widely used building material. However, due to its hazardous influence on human health, since 1997 asbestos is prohibited in Poland as a construction material. Moreover, all the cement-asbestos products that had been placed onto buildings previous to this date, must be removed by the end of 2032.
Building owners and administrators cannot remove and dispose asbestos products themselves - a qualified company needs to be hired to do this work. Therefore Warsaw offers special financial support to the citizens. They may apply for a reimbursement for the costs of professional asbestos removal, transportation and disposal. The refund may reach up to a 100% of the expenditures. Only in 2021 support granted by Warsaw for this purpose was worth 40 million PLN, which allowed to remove more than 400 tonnes of cement-asbestos products.