Knauf – Plasterboard

Plasterboard recycling solutions

The Client

Knauf successfully started construction of their first plasterboard site in Sittingbourne, Kent in 1988.

A second plasterboard plant at Immingham, N.E. Lincolnshire, and a plaster plant at Sittingbourne closely followed. Knauf have invested in excess of £100 million in the most advanced manufacturing technology making Knauf one of the largest suppliers of gypsum-based building materials in the UK.

Countrystyle recycling plasterboard and provide gypsum powder to Knauf for use in the production of new plasterboard

The Challenge

UK and European landfill legislation, and the increasing costs of landfill disposal, have driven good materials resource efficiency and the reduction, reuse and recycling of wastes. Initiatives have been developed that support the segregation, collection and reprocessing of waste plasterboard, and the development of end-market uses for the resulting reprocessed gypsum.

In 2007 it became illegal to dispose of plasterboard waste to landfill co-mingled with other waste and given its close proximity to one of the largest plasterboard manufacturing plants in Europe operated by Knauf, Countrystyle saw the opportunity to act in its usual innovative way by investing in a bespoke waste plasterboard recycling line.

Key Facts

  • Plasterboard and gypsum products are 100% recyclable
  • Countrystyle’s waste plasterboard recycling process has 40,000 tonnes per year capacity
  • Countrystyle and Knauf entered into a long term recycled gypsum supply arrangement in 2011

The Solution

Through an investment of some £750,000, Countrystyle designed, procured and installed a unique processing line capable of recycling up to 40,000 tonne per year of waste plasterboard. The bulk product that is separated is gypsum powder equating to some 80% of the total input by weight.

Soon after commissioning the plasterboard recycling process, Countrystyle entered into an agreement with Knauf to supply gypsum powder to PAS standard approved by Knauf. Knauf re-introduce this powder into their plasterboard manufacturing process. This is a good example of a closed loop recycling process.

Due to increased demands for waste plasterboard treatment capacity and recycled gypsum powder from Knauf, Countrystyle are currently increasing the capacity of their plasterboard recycling operation by investing in a further processing line.

The waste plasterboard feed stock comes from the following sources:

  • Production scrap from the likes of Knauf and British Gypsum
  • Independent Waste Management Companies
  • National Waste Management Companies
  • Household Reuse and Recycling Centres (HRRCs)
  •  Construction and Demolition Contractors

“Countrystyle Recycling Ltd are pleased to be a founding member of the first trade association for the sector, Gypsum Re-Processors Association UK and Ireland (GRAUKI).”