Disposal of Plaster

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Disposal of Plaster
Plaster drywall makes up the majority of building waste. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

According to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, plaster in the form of drywall and gypsum, makes up the largest component of residential building waste. But plaster is also used in art and medicine. Plaster casts allow orthodontists and prosthetic technicians to design pieces that fit each patient. Many communities no longer accept plaster in regular landfills. Calcium is a major component of plaster. Calcium sulphate dihydrate, the chemical name for plaster occurs in nature all over the world; many communities recycle plaster and gypsum back into nature and even new drywall.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Contractor waste bags

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  1. 1

    Gather the plaster together into one type of plastic or contractor waste bag.

  2. 2

    Test the plaster for hazardous chemicals and make sure that the plaster is clean. If the plaster has lead paint, asbestos coating or any other hazardous chemicals, the plaster is hazardous waste and must go to a hazardous-waste site.

  3. 3

    Call your local waste disposal site. Many communities have a special waste collection sites for building waste.

  4. 4

    Check with recycling centres in your area. Some communities grind clean plaster into a powder and mix it with dirt to nourish landscapes.

Tips and warnings

  • Use a heavy-gauge clear bag to make it easy to see the plaster inside. Or choose a coloured waste bag that you designate as the plaster receptacle. This prevents workers from accidentally putting other waste into the bag.
  • When plaster is removed for mould abatement or due to flooding, most communities require the plaster to be treated as hazardous waste.

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