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Knauf Recycle gears up for new waste disposal rule

Knauf Recycle gears up for new waste disposal rule

Plasterboard waste recycling gets a major boost from 1 April 2009 when tighter landfill rules are enforced. Knauf Recycle, the gypsum waste processing arm of plasterboard manufacturer Knauf Drywall, is stepping up its operations to make life easier for builders and dry lining contractors when the Environment Agency’s new ruling comes in. The new rule bans gypsum and other high sulphate wastes in landfill with other biodegradable material, a situation which often generates unpleasant smelling hydrogen sulphide.   

Knauf Recycle Manager Steve Wilson says the highly successful Knauf Drywall waste plasterboard take-back scheme is now being offered to contractors throughout the industry, with bags, bins or skips available to suit the expected flow of waste at each site.

“We are also extending the scheme to builders merchants, who will provide collection points for customers generating small amounts of waste,” says Steve Wilson. “Our scheme requires contractors to segregate recyclable plasterboard waste into dedicated containers which we collect. They benefit from better control of waste disposal costs and an accurate measure of waste.” For more information on Knauf Recycle, call 0800 030 4135 or visit

The change follows an Environment Agency announcement that it is withdrawing the 10% guideline which allowed some sulphate material – such as plasterboard waste – in general landfills. High sulphate wastes have officially been banned from general landfill since 2005, but the Environment Agency allowed the practice to continue within the guideline while scientists probed the link between sulphates and biodegradable wastes in the production of hydrogen sulphide. This research has concluded that there is no practicable level for gypsum wastes in general landfill cells.

Steve Wilson says: “Gypsum waste can still be accepted for landfill in dedicated sulphate cells, but builders could find it increasingly difficult to find landfill operators offering this facility.”

He says plasterboard recycling releases a valuable stream of gypsum for remanufacturing and other uses. “Clean plasterboard offcuts or damaged board are ideal sources of material, with the paper liners and the gypsum cores being fed back into their respective production processes. Some plasterboard products – including new laminated boards or  old decorated boards – are currently unsuitable for return to plasterboard production but they may offer alternative recycling opportunities, for example in agriculture. Knauf Recycle can advise customers on disposal of material that is not suitable for plasterboard reprocessing.” 

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