Rules that decide the legal definition of surplus building materials in Scotland have been altered. This means that plasterboard which complies with the right environmental policies is no longer considered waste.
The technical definition of waste may seem to be insignificant legal footnote; regarding the topic of plasterboard this could mean huge turnover and environmental savings.
It is well known that construction companies are extremely wasteful of gypsum plasterboard, with more ending up at landfill than actually being used. When sent to landfill, gympsum rots and then mixes with organic waste, which leads to a vile toxin being released and a rather unpleasant smelling gas called hydrogen sulphide.
On its own Scotland is responsible for 1,750,000 tonnes of the product going to landfill every year. Under the new legal definition when properly dealt with it can be reused either to replace virgin gypsum in new plasterboard or can be used as a cement or soil conditioner.
SEPA, Scotland’s environmental watchdog, now says that plasterboard that meets a certain standard, as laid out by the BSI PAS109:2008, it won’t count as waste, cutting down on costs and paperwork when it comes to reprocessing it.
Kenny Boag, SEPA’s head of waste policy, said: “SEPA supports the responsible processing of waste materials into high quality products as part of achieving a Zero waste society. “
“SEPA’s policies on the disposal and recovery of gypsum from plasterboard will reduce pollution from land-filling and will also facilitate the recycling of this valuable resource.”