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GRI chosen as recycling partner
19-01-2005 00:00
US Gypsum and National Gypsum, the two largest wallboard manufacturers in the US have decided to contract with Gypsum Recycling International to launch a successful Scandinavian gypsum wallboard/plasterboard recycling system in the US starting in Massachusetts this fall. Gypsum wallboard waste will be collected from the market via specially designed dumpsters, transported to decentralised warehouses and then be crushed by a mobile crusher and turned into a gypsum powder that the wallboard plants can use in the production of new wallboards. The system has been successful in Scandinavia for more than 3 years, and achieved a 60% recycling rate in Denmark.

Additional benefits of using plasterboards
Everywhere in the US the desire to replace land filling of waste with recycling is growing.
US Gypsum and National Gypsum now take the lead in assuring that also gypsum wallboard/plasterboard waste can be recycled. By using Gypsum Recycling International’s proven system gypsum wallboard waste will be diverted from landfills and reused for production of new wallboards. As another advantage the wallboard plants will be using fewer natural resources as the reprocessed waste will replace natural raw materials in the production. Finally, according to Gypsum Recycling International, it will also be less expensive for the wallboard users to dispose of the wallboard waste by recycling, so all parties stand to win.

David Wonnell, Director, Environmental & Manufacturing Services in USG said, “The United States Gypsum Company developed gypsum wallboard over eighty years ago and today is the leading producer in North America. We have a long-standing commitment to encourage environmental awareness in all of our practices. 100% of our Sheetrock® gypsum wallboard paper has been recycled for years and roughly a third of the gypsum we use today is synthetic. Sheetrock® gypsum wallboard is already a very “green”, environmentally friendly product, but by using the beneficial Scandinavian system we are providing our customers with a product that is environmentally friendly and 100% recyclable. In addition our customers could benefit from lower costs to dispose of waste since their wallboard scraps can be recycled into new wallboard”

Jerry Carroll, Sr. VP of Manufacturing and Engineering for National Gypsum Company added “It is our vision to be recognized as the industry leader for extraordinary service and products that consistently meet our customers’ toughest standards. With more and more customers being concerned for the environment and the cost of disposal of waste, it has been natural for us to take the lead in this area. National Gypsum wants to be a good corporate citizen”.

First Massachusetts and new construction waste, then Washington and beyond
The new initiative will start in Massachusetts with future possible expansion throughout the Northeast U.S. from New Hampshire to Washington DC; an area in which USG has 3 plants and National Gypsum 4 plants. Massachusetts has been chosen as the first place to launch the initiative, because of strong interest in the State to support gypsum recycling. Henrik Lund-Nielsen, CEO of Gypsum Recycling International explained: “To be successful in recycling the local stakeholders in form of the customers, the public authorities etc. must have the willingness to participate in recycling and value the benefits, economical as environmental. We have found that Massachusetts leads the way in this respect and our cooperation with the local Department of Environmental Protection has been an example to follow. We are convinced that once the success in Massachusetts has been established the neighbouring states in the Northeast will quickly follow and then we will start looking at other areas of the US.

Initially the system will be set up to handle new construction waste only, but the three companies behind the new initiative hope to include “old” waste from demolition and refurbishment at a later stage.

Inspired by the success in the Scandinavian countries
Within just 3 years the system has achieved a remarkable 60% recycling rate in Scandinavia, not because of gypsum waste was banned from landfills, but because of the economic advantages the system provides on top of the environmental advantages. David Wonnell said “We have carefully studied all available plasterboard recycling systems. The Scandinavian technology is superior to anything I’ve seen, and by including the collection and logistic part of the recycling chain, instead of just focussing on the technical aspect of the recycling process it self, the Scandinavian system is really second to none. The results in Scandinavia are inspiring and encouraging and we are confident that we can achieve the same success here in North America”.
Henrik Lund-Nielsen stated “We are proud to have been chosen to participate in this exciting opportunity with the two largest US wallboard manufacturers, National Gypsum and United States Gypsum. As we already serve the three largest European manufacturers in various places in Europe, we are now serving all of the top 5 manufacturers in the world”.

See the press releases made by US Gypsum and National Gypsum
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