Green Gorilla, like the rest of the waste industry, recognised that waste plasterboard is a significant contributor to landfill waste. They investigated the feasibility of collecting plasterboard waste from building sites and received a 50% grant ($500,000) from the Ministry for Environment to design and construct New Zealand’s first (and only) dedicated plasterboard recycling plant.
Incoming plasterboard now comes from three sources:
- Dedicated collection via plasterboard bags
- Plasterboard separated from construction and demolition waste via the sort line
- Waste plasterboard from Winstone Wallboards' manufacturing process
Green Gorilla is the only waste collection company actively collecting, separating and recycling plasterboard. Although they are willing to receive board from the major landfill companies, many prefer to landfill it.
Over the last three years, Green Gorilla has actively promoted not only the collection side but has also developed markets for the recycled gypsum.
The business had reached the stage where a dedicated building was required, and they opened a new building and plasterboard recycling facility in 2018. This new building will allow them to better showcase the plasterboard recycling initiative along with its other recycling and processing operations.
As mentioned before, the considerable investment in fixed plant and buildings has been supported by a dedicated marketing and sales investment, commitment to attracting and capturing the necessary feedstock to make the system financially viable. This has allowed Green Gorilla to slowly but surely establish a desire and a market for sustainable handling and diversion from landfill of this product and assisted construction companies to achieve Green Star and Homestar status.
"As with any sustainability initiative, it will only ever be a success if a market can be established for the processed product. To this end, considerable investment has been made in a sales and marketing campaign to attract and secure ongoing customers and use for the gypsum and paper produced from the process. We acknowledge Winstone Wallboards' support in this regard," says Clinton Jones from Green Gorilla.
To date, Green Gorilla has invested over $2million and has received approximately $500k by way of Waste Minimisation fund grant for this service. In summary, they have made a considerable investment in:
- Developing a unique processing system
- Establishing a customer base for feedstock with innovative methods of collection and direct delivery to the recycling operation
- Established ongoing sales channels for the products produced from the sorting, separation and processing of what was previously a waste material to landfill
- Made further investment in a dedicated building for manufacturing and storage of incoming plasterboard and recycled product
The Winstone Wallboards volume of waste material is central to the continuing success of the venture and the ability to produce high quality and sought after gypsum. Therefore, Green Gorilla requests specifiers' ongoing support for this important service.