Gypsum/Plasterboard Use - Noob Question!

jamestc989

Member
Trade
Hi all,

I'm new to the forum. I run a national skip hire brokerage and also a waste transfer station in the south of the UK, so have relationships with lots of large and small skip companies and waste transfer stations. The cost for waste management at the moment is going through the roof (landfill tax, red diesel ban, utilities) and we're looking at ways in which we can better recycle materials.

I have virtually no experience in this particular subject, so I am looking to try and get some insight into what we could do with the plasterboard which we collect and whether to invest in machinery to process it into gypsum.

I understand that gypsum is used for farming, but there is very little information anywhere about the market. I have read in a thread on here that one of the frustrations is plasterboard not being separated from mixed waste in a skip. That's not a problem for us and we can make sure it's properly separated.

As farmers, how do you obtain your gypsum/plasterboard and which do you prefer?

Do you pay for either? If so, how much per tonne and how much do you need per annum?

Is there a demand for it or a particular type?

Thank you!
 

Wisconsonian

Member
Trade
I'm in the USA so I can't answer on legalities or your local market conditions.

Gypsum contains calcium and sulfur, both of which are needed by plants. Sulfur is more valuable, but less is needed.

Here, gypsum is NEEDED on very specific soils that probably don't exist in the UK, on all other soils gypsum will be competing with ground ag lime, which is roughly speaking $10-30/ton plus spreading.
 
Hi all,

I'm new to the forum. I run a national skip hire brokerage and also a waste transfer station in the south of the UK, so have relationships with lots of large and small skip companies and waste transfer stations. The cost for waste management at the moment is going through the roof (landfill tax, red diesel ban, utilities) and we're looking at ways in which we can better recycle materials.

I have virtually no experience in this particular subject, so I am looking to try and get some insight into what we could do with the plasterboard which we collect and whether to invest in machinery to process it into gypsum.

I understand that gypsum is used for farming, but there is very little information anywhere about the market. I have read in a thread on here that one of the frustrations is plasterboard not being separated from mixed waste in a skip. That's not a problem for us and we can make sure it's properly separated.

As farmers, how do you obtain your gypsum/plasterboard and which do you prefer?

Do you pay for either? If so, how much per tonne and how much do you need per annum?

Is there a demand for it or a particular type?

Thank you!
contaminants is the biggest issue and meeting environmentle laws
 

Lincsman

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Lincolnshire
Hi all,

I'm new to the forum. I run a national skip hire brokerage and also a waste transfer station in the south of the UK, so have relationships with lots of large and small skip companies and waste transfer stations. The cost for waste management at the moment is going through the roof (landfill tax, red diesel ban, utilities) and we're looking at ways in which we can better recycle materials.

I have virtually no experience in this particular subject, so I am looking to try and get some insight into what we could do with the plasterboard which we collect and whether to invest in machinery to process it into gypsum.

I understand that gypsum is used for farming, but there is very little information anywhere about the market. I have read in a thread on here that one of the frustrations is plasterboard not being separated from mixed waste in a skip. That's not a problem for us and we can make sure it's properly separated.

As farmers, how do you obtain your gypsum/plasterboard and which do you prefer?

Do you pay for either? If so, how much per tonne and how much do you need per annum?

Is there a demand for it or a particular type?

Thank you!
I get it delivered free of charge, and its 100% clean, some goes back into reproducing but there are % limits apparently.

Excellent stuff, helps clay soil go more crumbly and removes need for sulphur fertilizer.

The paper element goes for cattle bedding.
 
I believe Gypsum is used to raise pH, when the soil already has enough Calcium, however, I have never heard of anyone spreading it. Most land that needs the pH raising is also low on Calcium. The soil pH is also a function of Magnesium in the soil.
 

Lincsman

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Lincolnshire
I believe Gypsum is used to raise pH, when the soil already has enough Calcium, however, I have never heard of anyone spreading it. Most land that needs the pH raising is also low on Calcium. The soil pH is also a function of Magnesium in the soil.
No its more or less neutral, i did some flooded land at the rate of 10t/ acre twice in 3 years, worked really well.
 

PSQ

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Scottish Borders
I used 290t last year, FoC ex works, but I organise and pay for the haulage and (belt) spreading which in total isn't cheap.
I wouldn't bother if I had to pay for it, it doesn't bring that much to the party tbf. I couldn't detect any long lasting change in Sulphur levels beyond the year of application.
It doesn't have much neutralising effect on pH as far as I'm aware, but as mentioned it does displace high levels of Mg in the soil and it does help flocculate heavy clay soils, but the jury is out on the length of time this effect lasts, it isn't permanent.
It must NOT be used for animal bedding as the mix generates a lot of highly toxic hydrogen disulphide gas.
It's a PITA if it gets wet.
 

Lincsman

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Lincolnshire
I used 290t last year, FoC ex works, but I organise and pay for the haulage and (belt) spreading which in total isn't cheap.
I wouldn't bother if I had to pay for it, it doesn't bring that much to the party tbf. I couldn't detect any long lasting change in Sulphur levels beyond the year of application.
It doesn't have much neutralising effect on pH as far as I'm aware, but as mentioned it does help flocculate heavy clay soils but the jury is out on the length of time this effect lasts, it isn't permanent.
It must NOT be used for animal bedding as the mix generates toxic levels of hydrogen disulphide gas.
It's a PITA if it gets wet.
The firm mine comes from do use all the paper for bedding, (its sent a long way south!) it may be very clean or a lot of care is used and open yards???
 

Bald n Grumpy

Member
Livestock Farmer
Not very helpful to the op but we put liquid gypsum on some ground before ploughing, put it in the tank with whatever the contractor burnt grass off with and worked a treat on the soil. Can't see any point in tonnes of the stuff and big spreaders
 

Bruce Almighty

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Warwickshire
The paper is a great bedding material in open yards.
We used to use it but stopped because there is far too much builders waste (plastic, silicon tubes,small pieces of plastic sheet) in the paper.
When you spread the muck you have plastic all over your fields
 

Wisconsonian

Member
Trade
yes, it will break down fine, the paper will not be a problem if it's mixed into the muck. If it's on the surface the paper might stay dry and come off and be a nuisance. The gypsum will break down into nice chunks from wetting and drying.
 

jamestc989

Member
Trade
Thanks everyone for the replies. Really interesting - another member who messaged me directly explained there are EA restrictions of no more than 1 tonne per Hectare per 12 months and it mustn't be put on wet or frozen land:


I'm trying to look at ways in which we can responsibly get rid of the plasterboard which is collected by our suppliers in a way which hopefully benefits farmers too and cut out the big players.

From a business perspective, ultimately I run a small brokerage, so it does need to remain profitable at the same time. Currently the going rate for bulk plasterboard disposal (unprocessed) is about £50+VAT per tonne and then on average it's about £10 per tonne haulage. That's based on about 50 tonnes per week.

If we can process the plasterboard into recycled gypsum and get it certified, are there many of you who would be interested in just paying for the haulage for it and if so, what sort of quantity per month would you be able to receive?

No guarantees as it's early stage at the moment, but we may even be able to subsidise the cost of the haulage too if we can certify and process it cheaply!
 

Dave645

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
N Lincs
Thanks everyone for the replies. Really interesting - another member who messaged me directly explained there are EA restrictions of no more than 1 tonne per Hectare per 12 months and it mustn't be put on wet or frozen land:


I'm trying to look at ways in which we can responsibly get rid of the plasterboard which is collected by our suppliers in a way which hopefully benefits farmers too and cut out the big players.

From a business perspective, ultimately I run a small brokerage, so it does need to remain profitable at the same time. Currently the going rate for bulk plasterboard disposal (unprocessed) is about £50+VAT per tonne and then on average it's about £10 per tonne haulage. That's based on about 50 tonnes per week.

If we can process the plasterboard into recycled gypsum and get it certified, are there many of you who would be interested in just paying for the haulage for it and if so, what sort of quantity per month would you be able to receive?

No guarantees as it's early stage at the moment, but we may even be able to subsidise the cost of the haulage too if we can certify and process it cheaply!
At the moment around me it’s delivered free, it costs £5/t to get it spread, the problem as I see it while it can improve the condition of soil, there are other better ways to spend that £5/t spreading cost with spreading other products so I doubt you will get away with charging for delivery.
A few farms near me use it on strong land but good min-till practices and cover crops etc can deliver better results.
It’s not like it improves yields which doesn’t make it essential.
while my area maybe the exception rather that the rule where it’s free, possessing allows you to spread it and avoid landfill costs if you want to get rid of it in a Guaranteed way, offer free delivery and free spreading, and then I am sure you could get rid of as much as you want the only barrier will then be getting farms to take it all year round as normally farms only want it on farm after harvest and before drilling which is a narrow window, to avoid having to stock pile it most of the year you will have to be persuasive to get farms to take it and store it until crops are off. . .
 

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HSENI names new farm safety champions

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Written by William Kellett from Agriland

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The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) alongside the Farm Safety Partnership (FSP), has named new farm safety champions and commended the outstanding work on farm safety that has been carried out in the farming community in the last 20 years.

Two of these champions are Malcom Downey, retired principal inspector for the Agri/Food team in HSENI and Harry Sinclair, current chair of the Farm Safety Partnership and former president of the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU).

Improving farm safety is the key aim of HSENI’s and the FSP’s work and...
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