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FS25 - Investigating New Markets for Recycled Plasterboard

Written by: CIC Start Online

"Investigating New Markets for Recycled Plasterboard" by Glasgow Caledonian University and First Options Services Ltd

SUMMARY

Plasterboard is made of a gypsum plaster core with a paper facing. Over 2.5 million tonnes of plasterboard are manufactured and used in the UK each year, and this is increasing. Plasterboard is used in construction for a range of applications including lining walls and ceiling
and forming partitions.

Plasterboard waste arises primarily through construction and demolition activities. Waste from new construction arises during installation through wasteful design, off-cuts, damaged boards, and over-ordering. Plasterboard waste is also generated from demolition and refurbishment activities, such as from removing partitions, refurbishing wall and ceiling linings, repairing damaged linings, and from complete soft-strip before demolition of a building.

The increase in landfill tax and disposal costs, landfill restrictions and the focus on Site Waste Management plans are stimulating the increasing recovery of plasterboard. Disposal of plasterboard in landfill leads to a reduction in availability of scare resources and if collected as a separate stream the material may be deemed as a ‘special waste’ and is subject to additional waste management controls and cost. To stimulate the recovery and recycling of plasterboard, SEPA, the Environment Agency and WRAP have developed PAS 109, a quality protocol that through establishing end of waste criteria and hence the classification of the recovered gypsum as a product, encourages the recycling of gypsum.

First Options Service Ltd are one of the first companies in Scotland to obtain the PAS 109 Quality standard and reprocess waste plasterboard from Scotland at their plant in Fife. Recovered gypsum is recycled to manufacture new plasterboard. However in order to maximise environmental benefits, income streams and diversity of outlets, the company in addition to supplying gypsum to plasterboard manufacturing is also seeking to identify and exploit new alternate markets.

The objectives of the project are to assist First Options identify and exploit a new and emerging agricultural market for odour control. The project will build on existing academic research within the university and through a programme of farm trials and laboratory testing will assist First Options assess the viability of the use of gypsum for odour control in the Scottish agricultural sector.

Key words: recycling of construction materials, gypsum plaster boards

AUTHORS

Ole Pahl, Glasgow Caledonian University

Colin Hunter, Glasgow Caledonian University

For First Option Services Ltd
 

The outputs of this study will be disseminated in due course.

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