Do It Yourselfers will find it easier to safely dispose of construction waste, thanks to a new pilot program that permits used gypsum to be dropped off at Metro Vancouver’s Waste Transfer Station in the Township of Langley.
Residents can now bring used gypsum, also known as drywall, Gyproc, wallboard, or plasterboard, to the Transfer Station, provided it is double-bagged in specially designated “Used Gypsum” bags for disposal, even if it has not been tested for asbestos, a disease-causing material that was sometimes found in drywall tape and mud prior to 1990.
The specialized bags are available for purchase at Rona on the Langley Bypass and on 16 Avenue, and at the Home Hardware (Pearce Hardware) in Aldergrove. Additional disposal fees of $150/tonne apply at time of drop off with a minimum disposal fee of $15.
“This is great news for residents who are doing home renovations,” said Rachel Randt of the Township’s Engineering Division. “For the past year our residents have been without a local and inexpensive option for used drywall disposal. Unfortunately, this has led to an increase in illegal dumping of gypsum.”
This increase in dumping has put new stress on the Township’s cleanup budget. “When we find gypsum dumped in the community, we have to assume that it could contain asbestos and treat it like hazardous waste. So taxpayers are footing the bill to clean up someone else’s expensive mess,” said Ryan Schmidt, the Township’s Manager of Energy & Solid Waste.
“The transfer station is a great local option for residents to safely and legally dispose of their drywall,” said Randt, “but it is very important that they protect themselves when handling demolition and renovation waste to prevent exposure to asbestos. People need to practice safety procedures such as wearing a mask and gloves, minimizing the amount of dust generated, and properly cleaning and sealing the bags. The safest approach could be to hire a professional.”
Complete bagging instructions and safety measures can be found online by visiting metrovancouver.org and searching for ‘transfer stations.’
New gypsum that is date-stamped 1990 or newer and has not been installed with tape, paint, or mud – such as cut offs left over from projects – can be taken to any Metro Vancouver Transfer Station for recycling. It need not be bagged but must be accompanied by a signed Declaration and Acknowledgement Form obtained at the Transfer Station.
Metro Vancouver has launched the used gypsum drop-off program only at the Langley Transfer Station at 1070 – 272 Street in Aldergrove and the Maple Ridge Transfer Station. It is not in place at the Surrey Transfer Station in Port Kells.
The pilot program is for residential customers only. Used gypsum from small contractors and other businesses is not permitted. Residents are limited to ten 10-kg bags per visit, and five drop-off visits per year.
For best handling practices when dealing with asbestos and gypsum drywall, visit metrovancouver.org.
For more information on the used gypsum pilot program, contact the Metro Vancouver Information Centre at 604.432.6200 or firstname.lastname@example.org