Approximately three million tonnes of plasterboard is used in the UK construction industry each year. The amount of plasterboard waste from demolition and refurbishment projects may be more than 1 million tonnes per year.
In addition, plasterboard and other waste gypsum products are hazardous waste and can no longer be put into landfill sites with biodegradable waste. This may increase the amount of plasterboard available for recycling. You can download the recycled gypsum from waste plasterboard quality protocol (PDF, 1.37MB).
The easiest plasterboard to recycle is off-cuts as these are less likely to be contaminated with other materials. Recycled gypsum from waste plasterboard can be used in a variety of applications which currently use gypsum from natural or synthetic sources - such as cement and Plaster of Paris - as well as having a number of uses in the food and toiletries industries.
This could present an opportunity for your business to produce recycled materials, but make sure you investigate the market conditions.
Standards and protocols for recycled plasterboard
Standards and protocols contain criteria that you should aim to meet. They demonstrate the quality of your processes and products to potential customers. Complying with a quality protocol also means that you do not have to comply with the usual controls on waste, such as using waste transfer notes when you transport the materials.
Publicly Available Specification (PAS) 109 sets minimum requirements for the production of recycled gypsum, covering:
- selection, receipt and handling of input materials
- specifications of product grades
- storage, labelling, dispatch and traceability of the products
It also sets out requirements for a quality management system to make sure that recycled gypsum being produced is fit for its intended use.