New rules for plasterboard and gypsum-bearing wastes

The Environment Agency (EA) has recently changed it’s position regarding the regulation of gypsum bearing wastes, a common example of which is plasterboard. For the past couple of years, the EA has allowed wastes containing up to 10% gypsum to be landfilled in a standard non-hazardous landfill.

Recent research commissioned by the EA has revealed that any quantity of gypsum / sulphate bearing waste has the potential, within a biodegradable waste landfill, to generate hydrogen sulphide which is both flammable and toxic.

As a result the EA has removed the 10% limit, stating that in future no gypsum bearing wastes will be allowed to be disposed of in a non-hazardous landfill. This new rule will come into effect on 1st April 2009.

This new rule will apply in particular to building and construction companies which generate waste plasterboard. In future plasterboard and any other gypsum-based wastes will need to be placed in a separate container and either recycled through an appropriate plant, or notified to their waste contractor so that the contractor can make appropriate arrangements on the customer’s behalf.

Companies in any doubt about this new rule are advised to contact the Grundon Technical Department for guidance on 0870 060 4340.

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