The gypsum industry presents its recycling concept

Recycling should lead to closed loop economic circles in the ideal situation. The German gypsum industry shows how to make this ideal situation reality. The National Association has developed a unique concept for the recovery of the original raw material in the same quality to be used again like the virgin gypsum. The last step for the application is the legal acceptance of recycled gypsum as a product.

Plasterboard waste from demolition or renovation of buildings is the core of the recycling concept to be sourced and recovered. The German Gypsum Association (BV Gips) has recently contacted the waste management industry to define partners for collection, temporary storage and qualitative recycling, suitable for the re-processing of the recyled material in the gypsum industry’s plants. The recycled material should be used for production of new gypsum products without any decline in quality compared with products made from primary gypsum. Defined quality requirements for recycled gypsum have been established by BV Gips as material profiles to cope with this target.

According to Holger Ortleb, Managing Director of BV Gips, actual environmental legislation triggered the starting point for developing a recycling concept. He underlines: “Business is ready to take the responsibility for gypsum products according to the Closed Cycle Waste Management Act – even at the end-of-life stage.” In the near future a string of gypsum factories in Germany and the Netherlands will take and process certified recycled gypsum. Ortleb quantifies: “In the first stage about 150 000 t/a can be recovered.” However, the Association can only provide the framework. Details on delivery and costs have to be negotiated individually between waste recycling companies and gypsum plants, explains Ortleb.

For application of the recycling concept particularly a legal constraint must be eliminated by all partners involved: “The end-of-waste status for recycled gypsum according to § 5 of the Closed Cycle Waste Management Act has to be confirmed, as otherwise there is no possibility to process the material in gypsum factories. On this, standard quality requirements have been defined,” explains Dr. Jörg Demmich, Chairman of the Raw Materials and Environment Committee of BV Gips. An official approval of recycled gypsum as a product is still pending. A first meeting by the responsible German Interstate Working group for Waste (Bund-/Länder-Arbeitsgemeinschaft Abfall – LAGA) took place on 19.06.2012 at Schleswig.


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