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NEW - Plasterboard recycling at the Longue Hougue Waste & Recycling Centre

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From August 1, DIY enthusiasts will be able to drop off plasterboard for recycling at the Longue Hougue Household Waste & Recycling Centre (HWRC) free of charge.

Recycling Officer, Tina Norman-Ross said, 'We are unable to include plasterboard in the material that we export for energy recovery, so until now we have had to dispose of it at Mont Cuet.

'However that is not ideal, because apart from taking up valuable void space, when plasterboard breaks down in landfill it can produce a toxic gas. High concentrations of this gas can pollute the air and have a major environmental impact.

'Now that we can accept it for recycling at the HWRC, it can be used to produce new plasterboard instead.'

Guernsey Waste will be going out to tender for a company to manage the export and processing. For now, it is working with a local contractor, which currently provides local businesses with a recycling outlet for plasterboard.

The material will be exported to a specialist processing plant in the UK where it will be refined and sorted before being blended with raw gypsum to make new plasterboard. The paper that lines the board is removed as part of the process and is recycled into things like cattle bedding.

To enable it to be recycled, the plasterboard must be dry and relatively clean, preferably without insulation, wallpaper, screws and tiles attached. Anything with more than 10% 'contamination' with these other materials will need to be disposed of as general waste, which will incur a charge.'

As announced in June, from 1 August polystyrene packaging and video tapes will no longer be included in the items that can be dropped off for free at the HWRC. They will instead be subject to the same charge as general waste - £2.50 per black bag or equivalent.

There is no longer a viable recycling route for VHS tapes, and polystyrene recycling ceased in 2019 due to the very high cost. Both are now included in mixed waste materials sent for energy recovery.

Mrs Norman-Ross said the easiest way for households to dispose of these items would be to include them in with their general waste which they put out for their fortnightly collection.

'Now that we are not recycling these items and they are being treated as general waste, the same charge applies.'

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