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Hartland landfill to stop accepting drywall

Jul 12 2012

Drywall will not be accepted at the Hartland landfill starting Sept. 4.

Capital Regional District directors have endorsed a recommendation from the environmental sustainability committee to stop accepting drywall at the dump.

Drywall was banned from disposal at the dump in 1990, but has been accepted for recycling at a cost of $202 a tonne.

About 400 tonnes of recylable drywall is dropped off annually, according to a staff report.

But CRD staff say WorkSafe B.C. requirements surrounding asbestos-containing materials make it cheaper and easier to simply stop taking it - and there are private depots where surplus drywall can be disposed.

Since drywall made before 1990 is more likely to contain asbestos, drywall collected at the dump is already separated into two streams: pre-1990 drywall and post-1990 drywall.

The older drywall is collected in a semi-isolated bin that is lined with a sealable liner. Its contents are tested for asbestos-containing materials prior to being shipped for recycling. If a load of drywall tests positive, the liner is sealed and the drywall is landfilled as controlled waste, the report says.

To date, eight of 11 bins of older drywall have tested positive for asbestos containing materials.

While these efforts help to reduce the potential risk of exposure to asbestos, they do not fully control the dispersal of airborne drywall dust - something WorkSafe B.C. wants, CRD staff say.

That's difficult because drywall is not accepted by the processor for recycling if it is bagged or wrapped. The CRD's environmental sustainability committee looked at three options:

? Stop accepting drywall at Hartland beginning Sept. 4. The move would save an estimated $37,000 a year.

? Accept only clean new drywall off-cuts, free of drywall joint compound and other coatings, or old drywall that has been certified as free of asbestos containing materials through a third-party hazardous materials assessment. Additional costs were estimated at $30,000 a year.

? Build a ventilated structure capable of containing airborne contaminants. Estimated additional costs would be $110,000 a year for costs associated with the new building, specialized ventilation system, air monitoring, additional personal protective equipment and decontamination services.

According to the CRD's myrecyclopedia.ca website, drywall is accepted for recycling at a number of locations, including Alpine Disposal and Recycling, DL's Recycling Centre, Ellice Recycle and Sooke Garbage Disposal.

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