Closed Loop Wallboard Collaborative

This collaborative seeks to close the loop for gypsum wallboard DEBRIS, GENERATED in building construction and renovation

13 million tons of gypsum wallboard debris are generated in the US every year, 75% of which is landfilled. In landfills, decomposing gypsum can produce dangerous gases such as hydrogen sulfide.

However, gypsum can be recycled indefinitely into new wallboard if properly handled and processed. Seeking to close the loop for gypsum wallboard, this collaborative focuses on:

  • Source separation of wallboard scraps in job sites
  • Wallboard scrap processing
  • Using processed scraps to manufacture new gypsum wallboard
 

The Current Standard Practice

wb_closed-loop_4_current_h Landfill Agricultural & Animal Uses Coal-fired Power Plant Byproduct Naturally Mined Gypsum Job site Wallboard Processor Wallboard Manufacturer Hauler (wallboard scraps mixed with other debris)
wb_closed-loop_4_current_v Landfill Agricultural & Animal Uses Coal-fired Power Plant Byproduct Naturally Mined Gypsum Job site Wallboard Processor Wallboard Manufacturer Hauler (wallboard scraps mixed with other debris)

A Closed Loop Alternative

wb_closed-loop_4_closed_h Landfill Agricultural & Animal Uses Coal-fired Power Plant Byproduct Naturally Mined Gypsum Job Site Wallboard Processor Wallboard Manufacturer Hauler (source separated wallboard scraps)
wb_closed-loop_4_closed_v Wallboard Manufacturer Hauler Wallboard Processor Job Site Agricultural & Animal Uses Coal-fired Power Plant Byproduct Naturally Mined Gypsum Landfill (source separated wallboard scraps)

Drivers for Change

Closing the loop for gypsum wallboard has multiple benefits, both from an environmental and an economical standpoint. These are some of the drivers that we've identified for changing the current practice:

wallboard_landfill.png

Reduce landfilling and emissions

13 million tons of drywall debris are generated every year — 90% of it is landfilled.

Landfilled wallboard produces Hydrogen Sulfide (asthmagen) in humid, anaerobic conditions.

wallboard_source-separated.png

Maximize reuse

Source separating gypsum debris minimizes construction & demolition debris cross-contamination, and generation of non-recyclable fines.

gypsum_mining.png

Minimize impacts

From natural gypsum mining.

power_plant.png

Lessen dependency

On flue gas desulfurization byproduct from declining coal-fired power production. 

Minimize potential over time for elevated mercury content in wallboard, and in emissions and effluent from synthetic gypsum production.

wallboard_processing.png

Regionalize supply chains

Reducing transport emissions and cost, and supporting local economies.

Repeatedly cycle gypsum rock, a high-integrity material, in an efficient circular resource system.


The Ecosystem

We're currently mapping the Gypsum Wallboard Ecosystem, including projects, processors, haulers, manufacturers, and sources. Click on the points in the map below for more info.

want to be listed on the map? Or want to submit a correction? please fill out the form below:

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