Positive progress is being made in construction site waste: the amount being recycled into new product by gypsum manufacturers has risen from 18% in 2007 to 30% in 2011. UK plasterboard manufacturers are now spearheading a new awareness campaign in conjunction with the Plasterboard Sustainability Partnership (PSP) to highlight how much contractors can save if they return plasterboard waste for recycling rather than send it to landfill.

Speaking on behalf of its manufacturer members, the Gypsum Products Development Association (GPDA) says some companies may not realise that recycling has economic, as well as environmental, benefits.

GPDA secretary Crispin Dunn-Meynell explains: “Disposal to general landfill is no longer permitted and gypsum waste is only accepted at non-hazardous single cell landfill. Sending one skip of waste plasterboard to landfill costs you up to £2,000. By using one of our members’ plasterboard waste collection schemes, or a gypsum recycling centre, you can save £500 on each skip.”

Although reducing waste is one of the plasterboard industry’s key targets, the PSP recognises that some waste will be produced on site, however carefully material is specified and used. This waste needs careful management to ensure the highest standards of safety, legal compliance and environmental performance are upheld.

Recycling Cost of Waste

GPDA members have invested both directly and through third parties to provide routes for segregated, clean plasterboard waste to be delivered to reprocessing stations. Crispin Dunn-Meynell comments: “Our members’ ‘take-back’ schemes offer contractors a convenient plasterboard waste disposal solution that’s both environmentally-friendly and cost effective, and that’s an important message for the industry to communicate.”

By recycling waste plasterboard contractors can demonstrate high standards of environmental responsibility and at the same time as reducing their landfill disposal costs.

For more information please visit www.plasterboardpartnership.org