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Plasterboard landfill targets revised after early achievement

The early achievement of 2010 targets to reduce plasterboard sent to landfill under the Ashdown Agreement has led to the targets being revised.

UK plasterboard manufacturers reduced the production waste sent to landfill to 6,000 tonnes in the first year since the agreement was signed in March 2007. This result beats the 2010 target to only send 10,000 tonnes of manufacturers production waste to landfill by nearly half. So the target has been revised down to 7,500 tonnes a year by 2010.

However, targets to increase take back and recycling of plasterboard for use in new board manufacture to 50% were not as advanced. The Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) estimated that 50% currently equals 300,000 tonnes, but so far 54,000 tonnes have been recycled (18% of the target).

WRAP construction project manager Dave Marsh said he was delighted with the first years progress, adding, the challenge now is to maintain this momentum.

By increasing their recycling of waste plasterboard the manufacturers are not only helping the construction sector to be more resource efficient and realise cost benefits, but also supporting it in achieving the target of halving waste to landfill by 2012 a key target of the Governments Strategy for Sustainable Construction, he said.

Agreement signatory the Gypsum Products Development Association general secretary Crispin Dunn-Meynell said he expected to see a flattening in the trend for progress in waste minimisation over the next year as the agreement tackles more difficult areas.

He added: The increase in landfill tax rates has led to a rapid rise in non-manufacturers recycling plasterboard for alternative uses a further increase in recycling which is not reflected in the figure of 54,000 tonnes.

Dunn-Meynell also said the effect of the credit crunch on achieving targets should be monitored over the next year.


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