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Is plasterboard hazardous and can it be recycled?

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Is plasterboard hazardous and can it be recycled?

Home renovation or commercial projects can both produce lots of plasterboard which requires prompt and safe disposal. But many people wonder if plasterboard is a hazardous material, and whether it can be recycled. In this article, we hope to answer these questions and explain exactly how you can dispose of your plasterboard waste – easily and safely.

Is plasterboard hazardous?

Plasterboard is not classed as a hazardous material, though it is officially banned from landfill sites – and has been since 2005. Not only that, but many skip hire companies will not consider even handling plasterboard with the exception of a few firms, such as Brown Recycling. Because of these restrictions, many people have the misconception that plasterboard is dangerous – which is only true in certain situations and over a certain period of time.

 

Let’s explain.

The reason that many skip hire companies will not consider handling plasterboard is because it contains high amounts of gypsum e.g. sulphates. If plasterboard gets wet and is mixed with decomposing waste, a chemical reaction can take place to form the gas hydrogen sulphide. A surefire sign of hydrogen sulphide build-up is an unpleasant odour of rotten eggs. If left long enough, this gas can build up and have poisonous or corrosive effects, which is a big reason why landfill sites have completely banned this substance.

 

However, this formation of hydrogen sulphide is a slow process than happens over time, and is therefore unlikely to affect waste placed in skips – as it is often not kept there long enough for this to become a problem.

 

Can plasterboard be recycled?

As plasterboard is non-hazardous, it can be recycled. It is not illegal to place plasterboard into skips, so it is simply the discretion of the skip company whether to accept this material or not. But here at Browns Recycling, we are able to facilitate the recycling of any plasterboard that enters our skips. Alternatively, your local council may be able to help collect and recycle any gypsum-containing waste.

 

At Browns, we would prefer our customers not to mix their plasterboard waste with other types of waste, as recommended by the Environment Agency. However, though we will not penalise customers who do so, we do suggest our customers separate plasterboard from their general mixed waste so that our specialists can handle it as a segregated waste stream, allowing for greater efficiency and safety.   

 

Brown Recycling are waste management experts and skip hire professionals, catering to Staffordshire and beyond. We have over 80 years of industry experience, allowing us to handle a wide variety of waste – including trickier materials, such as plasterboard. Please contact us today to find out more about our comprehensive services.

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