Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland

Recycling and disposing of plaster and plaster products

What you must do

You will need a Part B pollution prevention and control (PPC) permit if you use gypsum that is a by-product of another activity, and your process includes:

  • crushing, grinding or other ways of reducing the size of gypsum
  • grading, screening or heating gypsum.

If you receive or recycle damaged plasterboard or other plaster products for reprocessing, you may need a permit, licence or to register an exemption.

You may qualify for a waste exemption if you manufacture plasterboard from waste that consists of paper or gypsum.

The exemption references are:

  • paragraph 14 exemption in Northern Ireland
  • paragraph 13 exemption in Scotland.

If you have an exemption, you must comply with the exemption conditions.

You must register this exemption with your environmental regulator.

You must still ensure that your activity does not:

  • endanger human health or cause pollution to water, air or soil
  • cause a risk to plants or animals
  • cause a nuisance in terms of noise, dust, fumes, smoke or odour
  • adversely affect the countryside or places of special interest.

Waste management licences

Because they contain high levels of sulphate, you must separate plaster, plasterboard and other gypsum products from your general wastes.

You must dispose of non-hazardous gypsum-based materials in landfills for non-hazardous waste, in cells where there is no biodegradable waste. You must dispose of gypsum-based materials that are classified as hazardous waste in hazardous waste landfills.

Scotland: The disposal in landfills for non-hazardous waste of gypsum wastes (Adobe PDF - 24KB)

SEE ALSO: Crushing bricks, tiles and concrete, Recycling construction materials

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