why can't you put plasterboard in a skip

Why Can’t You Put Plasterboard in a Skip?

Some find it surprising, but you can’t get rid of plasterboard in a skip along with other mixed waste. Although it is classed as ‘non hazardous’, it has to be disposed of separately from general skip waste. This is because, according to the Environment Agency, plasterboard and other gypsum materials can emit dangerous gases when broken down with other waste types.

If you’ve had your skip refused to be taken away because there is plasterboard in it, this is not just a case of your skip hire company being awkward. It is a legal requirement for plasterboard to be separated from other waste types and suitably treated. 

Why is plasterboard dangerous?

Plasterboard (aka gypsum or drywall) contains high levels of sulphates due to its gypsum content, and when this is disposed of along with general waste, it reacts to create hydrogen sulphide, chemical formula H2S.

This process is called putrefaction, and it can occur in landfill sites and in skips if discarded drywall is allowed to get wet. 

More about H2S 

Hydrogen sulphide is heavier than air, which means it is able to gather in large quantities in the environment. It’s also colourless, but you’ll likely know if you’ve got a skip full of hydrogen sulphide, since it has a very unpleasant odour similar to rotten eggs. This makes it extremely uncomfortable to have to deal with.

Aside from just a foul smell, it is also dangerous for the following reasons: 

  • It’s poisonous 
  • It’s corrosive (will damage the skip or container that it’s in) 
  • It can burn 
  • It can explode 

All of this makes it an unnecessary risk for you and your waste removal company. By keeping plasterboard out of your skip and away from any rain, standing water or other sources of humidity, you can ensure that you avoid any of these complications. 

Even small quantities should be collected up and kept to one side. You might also want to consider keeping waste gypsum covered up or in an air conditioned space to protect it from humidity.

Disposing of Plasterboard

So you now know that you can’t put plasterboard in your regular skip, but how can you dispose of it? 

For individuals, the legislation means you’re required to separate and segregate plasterboard from other waste before heading to your local tip. Alternatively, use a licensed waste carrier like Wasteaway Nationwide. You need to state specifically that it is plasterboard, so we can ensure that it is taken away and disposed of safely. 

Some local household waste recycling centres offer plasterboard disposal and recycling, but they may have restrictions and possibly even charges in place.

As a business producing large volumes of plasterboard waste, you have a duty of care to keep this waste stream segregated and dispose of it responsibly, or you’ll potentially face fines from the Environment Agency.

Your options for disposal include finding a local plasterboard recycling centre or passing the waste on to a licensed waste carrier, permitted to collect plasterboard.

Get in Touch

We can help you dispose of all gypsum-based products so that they are recycled and handled safely. We work nationwide across the UK so why not give us a call today? Call 0330 122 8822 or contact us online. 


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