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“Impressive” drop in waste gypsum sent to landfill

WRAP has revealed an “impressive” drop in the amount of waste gypsum sent to landfill in the latest report on plasterboard waste.

The Ashdown Agreement -  Annual Report to 31 March 2010 shows that for the 12 months to 31 March 2010 just 504 tonnes of waste gypsum was sent to landfill against the revised target of 5,000 tonnes by 2010. The initial target set in 2007 was to reduce this waste stream to 10,000 tonnes a year by 2010.

The 2009/2010 figure is an 80% reduction on the previous year’s landfilled tonnage of 2,618 tonnes. It is believed the decrease in construction projects over this period pushed material arisings down in the first place.

WRAP programme manager for materials recycling Mike Falconer Hall said: “The Ashdown report shows the good progress the gypsum industry is making in tackling waste. Given the difficult economic situation and the effect this has had on construction, businesses are focussing on the cost as well as the environmental benefits of waste reduction and recycling.

“The biggest barrier to zero plasterboard waste remains contamination during demolition. Sort this, and zero waste could be a reality.”

However, the 50% target to increase takeback and recycling of plasterboard waste for use in plasterboard manufacture was missed. Just 26% of plasterboard was recycled in 2009/10, an increase of 6% on the previous year.

Results are for the third year of the Ashdown Agreement, which aims to pursue four targets to reduce plasterboard waste and increase recycling.  It is an arrangement between WRAP and the Gypsum Products Development Association.

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