Although the likelihood of your mats containing asbestos is extremely low, we understand that you are taking a precautionary approach and are treating them as such.
Firstly, you should check with your school administration to see if they have systems in place for dealing with asbestos waste. If a suitable system is not in place, and you are unsure as to what to do, you can contact your state WHS regulator for advice. You can find your state asbestos regulator at https://www.asbestossafety.gov.au/importing-advice/safety-alerts-and-rec....
The background information listed below contains information regarding disposal and states that the waste must be taken to a landfill site licenced to accept asbestos waste. You can find a disposal site near you via the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency (ASEA) website: see https://www.asbestossafety.gov.au/removal-and-disposal/search-disposal-f...
Background information: Asbestos in Bunsen Burner Gauze Mats
Following work undertaken by WHS regulators nationally an alert was published on the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency website on 3 December 2018. Links can be found here:
The Brief Safety Alert:
‘Asbestos in Bunsen Burner Gauze Mats’, Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency website, https://www.asbestossafety.gov.au/importing-advice/safety-alerts-and-rec... (Accessed February 2019)
The Full Safety Alert:
Heads of Workplace Safety Authorities. 2018. Asbestos in Bunsen Burner Gauze Mats, Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency website, https://www.asbestossafety.gov.au/sites/asea/files/documents/2018-12/Ful...
Information on Testing Requirements:
‘Testing requirements for all asbestos types’, Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency website, https://www.asbestossafety.gov.au/identification-and-testing/testing-req... (Accessed February 2019)
Information detailing “asbestos-free” vs “no asbestos”:
‘Asbestos standards in Australia vs overseas’, Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency website, https://www.asbestossafety.gov.au/importing-advice/asbestos-standards-au... (Accessed February 2019)