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Plasterboard, also known as gypsum, is a common construction material often generated as waste during home renovations and commercial refurbishments. However, when it comes to plasterboard disposal, a crucial issue arises. Most skip hire companies will decline plasterboard due to its hazardous nature, which can pose significant safety risks when mixed with general skip waste.
But why is plasterboard considered hazardous waste?
Plasterboard falls under the hazardous waste category, making it unsuitable for placement in skips and banned from landfills. This is primarily due to its high gypsum content, which creates a substantial risk of putrefaction. When sulphates within plasterboard come into contact with moisture and mix with other waste materials, they generate hydrogen sulphide (H2S).
Hydrogen sulphide is not only colourless but also emits a distinctive and unpleasant rotten egg smell, which can be a nuisance and a health concern when a skip is filled with it. Furthermore, H2S is toxic, corrosive, and can pose a threat of burning or exploding, making it unsafe for disposal in building sites or landfills.
So, how should you go about plasterboard disposal?
Though you can’t put plasterboard in your skip or general household waste, other plasterboard disposal methods exist. Please view our plasterboard only skip and skip bag solutions here.
First and foremost, take precautions by isolating and securely bagging your plasterboard waste. It’s essential to keep the material away from standing water and protect it from rain to reduce the risk of hydrogen sulphide formation. We recommend storing it covered and in a controlled environment with adequate ventilation to prevent high humidity levels.
Local councils can sometimes help with plasterboard disposal — some offer a collection service for small quantities from household refurbishments, taking your plasterboard sheets for a small charge.
Although plasterboard is not suitable for regular skips, ATS do offer plasterboard-only skip bags and skips. Thanks to recycling initiatives and support from local councils, there are multiple avenues available for disposing of plasterboard safely. Always remember to keep your plasterboard waste separate from other materials to enhance safety.