Brazier Interiors heeds landfill concerns

Due to gypsum’s high sulphate content (21%), it has been reclassified under the Landfill Amendment Regulations 2004. The sulphate content of gypsum mixed with biodegradable municipal waste in a landfill may break down to form, amongst other substances, hydrogen sulphide.

As of the 16th July 2005 it will no longer be possible to dispose of gypsum in landfills with biodegradable waste. Waste gypsum disposal to landfill will be restricted to separately engineered containment cells within non-hazardous landfill sites. There is currently very limited landfill sites in England and Wales licensed to accept high sulphate bearing waste and consequently the cost of gypsum plasterboard disposal will rise significantly and will continue to do so.

What does this mean for the industry?

  • Gypsum waste from site will need to be segregated and ideally should be removed for recycling.
  • The new regulations could create additional costs and increase liabilities.
  • Contractors may become responsible for additional waste disposal costs.

Recommendations

  • Contractual obligations covering waste disposal should be reviewed.
  • The company’s environmental policy should be reviewed and reflect the new legislation.

What can you do if you become responsible for gypsum waste?

There are a number of options; recycling initiatives managed by gypsum plasterboard manufacturers and companies who will collect plasterboard waste under a commercial agreement.

British Gypsum:

  • British Gypsum has been piloting recycling schemes in partnership with main contractors.
  • BG will have the capacity to recycle 10% of BG plasterboard once both East Leake and Robertsbridge are operational (no date yet given).
  • Board to be segregated on site and transported by BG to a third party waste management company for hand sorting before returning to BG.
  • No statement yet issued as to when a recycling service will be made available directly to the specialist contractor.

Knauf Drywall

  • Operating a joint venture with New West Gypsum (NWG).
  • New West Gypsum handling direct enquiries from customers and recycling gypsum on Knauf’s behalf in Immingham and eventually Sittingbourne plants.
  • Responsibility of contractors to segregate waste and transport Knauf gypsum waste to the NWG transfer station for processing (see NWG).

Lafarge Plasterboard

  • Operating a joint venture with New West Gypsum (NWG).
  • NWG handling direct enquiries from customers and recycling gypsum on Lafarge Plasterboard’s behalf in Bristol.
  • Responsibility of contractors to segregate waste and transport Lafarge Plasterboard gypsum waste to the NWG transfer station for processing (NWG).

New West Gypsum

  • Offering a full waste plasterboard collection and recycling service direct to the specialist contractor, they state a UK wide scope of operation.
  • New West Gypsum (NWG) has a partnership with Materials Recovery Ltd (MRL) who provides a waste collection service from site and with Knauf and Lafarge for who they provide recycled gypsum. They will quote a fixed price per tonne.
  • MRL will provide a range of containers for collecting any waste gypsum. • They take the waste to an independent transfer station, where it is sorted by hand.
  • Gypsum is returned to NWG operating at Lafarge, Bristol, or Knauf, Immingham, where the gypsum and paper is recycled. Plasterboard Recycling UK.
  • Offering a waste plasterboard collection service direct to the specialist contractor, they state a UK wide scope of operation.
  • Plasterboard Recycling UK offer a fixed price per tonne that includes the provision of skips and transport costs.
  • PBRUK currently have no facility to recycle and no arrangement with plasterboard manufacturers to return recycled gypsum for use in plasterboard.
  • However, they are planning on recycling gypsum and have sought alternative partners to take recycled gypsum in the fertiliser and cement industries.

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