The Environment Agency (EA) release a low risk waste position on the landspreading of waste gypsum.
Recycled gypsum from waste plasterboard spread on agricultural land is subject to waste controls. It may be spread on agricultural land to confer benefit under Standard Rules Permit SR2010 No. 4 (Mobile plant for landspreading) but is not included in the list of wastes covered by exemption U10 (Spreading waste on agricultural land to confer benefit). In advance of any national review of the current U10 exemption, the EA has released a Low Risk Waste Position, see below related documents.
This will enable recycled gypsum from waste plasterboard (waste code 19 12 12) and flue-gas desulphurisation gypsum (waste code 10 01 05) to be spread on agricultural land as a substitute fertiliser without the need for a permit as long as the position conditions are followed.
Rates must be no greater than 1 tonne per hectare in any 12 month period.
Further details appear in the position but, in summary, the material must only be spread where there is a fertiliser need and it must not be spread within 50m of a potable water borehole or 10m of surface water. The Code of Good Agricultural Practice must be followed.
To address the issue of variability and potential physical contamination the reprocessed gypsum from plasterboard should be certified. The most commonly used specification for the production of reprocessed gypsum from waste plasterboard is PAS 109:2013.
This Low Risk Position is intended for the low volume use of waste gypsum as a substitute agricultural fertiliser, and not for the typically higher volume use as a conditioner to improve soil structure. This higher volume use can still be undertaken under Standard Rules Permit SR2010 No. 4 (Mobile plant for landspreading).