European company Gypsum Recycling International is opening its U.S.-based operation Gypsum Recycling America LLC, which recently received permits and approval from the state of Massachusetts, as well as the city of Cambridge, Mass., to open a recycling facility that is geared to handle scrap gypsum.

Jack Walsh, general manager of GRA, said the project is the first of its kind in the United States.

While the project is initially taking in clean gypsum, the plan is that within one year the company will be taking in scrap gypsum from homebuilders, transfer stations and retailers of gypsum. The process will remove the paper backing of gypsum and use the pure gypsum power to make new wallboard.

GRI was started in 2001 in Denmark, where more than 60 percent of all gypsum and plasterboard waste is now being recycled. GRI, United States Gypsum and National Gypsum together pledged to start gypsum wallboard recycling operations in United States, beginning in Massachusetts.