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Knauf – Plasterboard

The Client 

Knauf has been manufacturing plasterboard at Sittingbourne, Kent since 1988 and has expanded to be one of the UK’s largest suppliers of gypsum-based building materials.

Operating a 24-hour facility, Knauf is heavily committed to the environment and to the use of alternative recycled material (ARM) in the production of new plasterboard not only in Kent but at its plants across Northern Europe.

The Challenge

Changes to the UK and European landfill disposal legislation has driven Knauf’s determination to boost recycling and clamp down on waste.

Countrystyle’s adjacent recycling facility at Sittingbourne, Kent, has been providing Knauf with recycled gypsum powder for use in new board production since 2007. In 2015, Knauf approached Countrystyle to propose a significant increase in the production of quality recycled gypsum powder for use at its Sittingbourne plant, to be backed by a long term supply contract.

Key Facts

  • Plasterboard and gypsum products are 100% recyclable
  • Knauf’s desire to increase its use of ARM material was the driver behind an agreement that underpinned a multimillion pound investment by Countrystyle in a bespoke 5,300m2 waste plasterboard recycling facility.

The Solution

On the back of signing a 10-year contract with Knauf, Countrystyle submitted planning and permitting applications for a dedicated standalone plasterboard recycling facility in 2016.

By mid-2017 a 5,300m2 building had been constructed at Countrystyle’s main Ridham Dock site that increased its ability to process waste plasterboard to 120,000 tonnes per annum. The bespoke facility manufacturers high grade recovered gypsum powder which meets Knauf’s strict quality raw material standards.

The new facility contains the latest technology from Danish equipment manufacturer ReTec, making the Ridham Facility the largest single site plasterboard processing facility in the UK.

Key Features of the design include dust suppression, extraction solutions and dedicated delivery areas for each process stage, including separation, processing and storage. Since commissioning, further enhancements have been made to improve the quality of the paper by-product created during the plasterboard recycling process.

Countrystyle also handles all onsite waste management for Knauf, Sittingbourne. This includes other waste streams such as general waste, office DMR, bailed plastics etc. Ensuring Knauf’s production line is constant and undisrupted, Countrystyle also offers ad-hoc services, including 24-hour call outs, winter gritting, WEEE disposal and on-site lagoon management.