If you’re working on a construction project or even a single-room renovation, there is plenty of waste to deal with. A lot of that waste can be easily handled with straightforward skip hire, but not every item can be put in a skip and here we’re looking more closely at plaster and plasterboard.

Are skips suitable for plaster waste?

Plaster and plasterboard cannot be put into any skip. Gypsum-based products are not accepted in your general waste, bulk household collections, or skips that you hire, even for construction projects. Gypsum-based waste has to be handled differently and disposed of separately. The most common gypsum-based products are:

  • Plaster – plaster used for the indoors of properties is usually gypsum-based and this cannot be put in a skip or disposed of in your general waste. Plaster used externally is usually cement-based and can usually be put in a skip with no problem, but you should check before doing so.
  • Plasterboard – plasterboard is a flat seam of gypsum held between stiff lining paper usually used for timber-framed buildings, in loft conversions and for stud partitions. Its gypsum core means it cannot be put in your skip.

    Why is plaster banned from landfills?

    You cannot put plaster in your skip due to it being banned from landfills across the UK. Since 2009, gypsum-based products have been prohibited from being put in landfill due to the risks of putrefaction that occur when gypsum is mixed with other products in the general waste, and this leads to the production of hydrogen sulphide. Hydrogen sulphide creates that strong rotten egg scent that you may associate with the local landfill in the past. However, beyond the smell, some really dangerous problems come from hydrogen sulphide production. This dangerous chemical compound is heavier than air, highly flammable, corrosive, and highly explosive, so it’s not a chemical we want to add to the atmosphere at any cost. 

    So, how do I dispose of plaster?

    Plaster has to be handled with care, but it can often be recycled, as long as it is kept separate and disposed of properly. Some local councils will offer a disposal service too and some skip hire companies allow the collection of plaster in a separate skip so it can be disposed of appropriately. When considering skip hire sizes you could get both a large and smaller skip, using the smaller one only for plaster and plasterboard for disposal separately. You can discuss your options with our team and we can advise if we can help.

    Contact us for more information.