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Gypsum laws spur waste limitation

MATERIALS

DRYLINING contractors will have to review their environmental policies to avoid falling foul of new gypsum legislation.

Under the Landfill Amendment Regulations 2004, coming into force next month, gypsum products with a high sulphate content must be disposed of in separate containment cells because of their potential to break down and form dangerous chemicals when mixed with organic waste.

These regulations could lead to additional costs for contractors through higher gypsum disposal prices, added time spent segregating gypsum and returning waste to transfer stations.

About 20 million sq m of plasterboard is wasted each year through cutting boards down to size and the Federation of Plasterers and Drywall Contractors has set a target to reduce this by 10 per cent through more efficient design, improved training and product standardisation.

FPDC director Emma Tomlin said: 'In future gypsum waste will need to be segregated and ideally should be removed for recycling.The new regulations could create additional costs and we want to ensure the true cost of it is not borne by our members.'

But one Yorkshire-based plasterer argued that some of the blame for large waste volumes should be left at the door of board manufacturers.

He said: 'When there was a board shortage a few years ago, suppliers cut out non-standard or part orders.That meant we had to order far more board than we needed for some projects.'