Can You Recycle Insulation?

When you recycle insulation, you are trying to give back to the environment.

Insulation made of synthetic materials can be recycled in a number of ways. recycling fees help pay for its recycling and disposal.

So, can you recycle insulation? Insulation is made of synthetic materials because it is made of materials that decompose easily and can be recycled so easily.

Synthetic materials include: glass wool, mineral wool, polystyrene foam and polyester fibers. Glass wool is composed of silica, sand or soda ash and limestone or dolomite (a type of rock).

In some climates, glass wool gets polluted with acid rain and mineral dust from industrial processes near glass factories and furnaces.

Mineral wool is made from rock or slag that is heated until it melts and is then blown into fibers.

Polystyrene foam and polyester fibers are some of the most common insulation materials used today.

Can You Recycle Insulation?

When professionally installed, cellulose may be the most convenient material to recycle.

Cellulose insulation consists of recycled newspaper that has been treated with a chemical fire retardant, dried and fluffed to form tiny air pockets.

Most paper insulation can be pulled apart and reused repeatedly for insulation applications.

When professional installers remove and roll it up, it is put into large burlap bags and shipped to a recycling center to be crushed and sifted for use in a variety of materials, such as road bedding, concrete additives, mulch and other landscaping materials, and paper.

Extra material may be sucked away and blown back onto the floor or wall, making it difficult for those installing the insulation to access all areas.

Not only is cellulose one of the cheapest insulation materials available, it is also widely available and easy to install.

What Type of Insulation Is Recyclable?

Fiberglass Insulation

Fiberglass insulation is another material that can be recycled.

Fiberglass may also be reincorporated into fiberglass insulation or used in the manufacture of fiberglass-based paints and plastics.

Fiberglass insulation is also incredibly efficient at helping you keep uncomfortable drafts out while allowing more heat from your furnace.

A downside to fiberglass insulation is not all fiberglass is created equal.

Some fiberglass insulation contains blowing agents or fungicides that can be harmful to the environment if not disposed of correctly.

Glasswool insulation is usually made of shredded glass, mixed with recycled paper or other fibrous materials.

Cellulose Insulation

You’ve already scored an A on answering what cellulose insulation is and how it works, but there’s more to know about this renewable resource.

This is due to the fact cellulose insulation that is 82% recycled. It will more easily decompose when disposed of when compared to other common forms of fiberglass or rock wool insulation.

Cellulose insulation is generally composed primarily of recycled newspaper and looks like tiny pieces of cotton.

On-site reuse and repurposing of shredded newspaper allows for a closed-loop recycling system that keeps waste from landfills.

Building Materials

Insulation will most likely be installed through your home’s walls, attic or basement.

This means you won’t be able see the specific type of insulation in your home’s walls, attic or basement.

This is mostly because towns and cities. They do not want homeowners to see the type of insulation used in their home, as it could reveal how much energy they are using or budgeting on heating and cooling their home.

You will be required only to look at the thickness and R-Value of your insulation to measure its quality.

Can You Throw Insulation In Your Trash?

No, and you can’t throw insulation in the trash no matter where you live.

We do not believe that homeowners, contractors or handymen should throw insulation in their trash, or should put it out for curbside trash pickup.

This is due to the complex way in which these insulation materials are processed and recycled after they are removed from your home.

It is illegal to throw insulation into a landfill for this reason, and for environmental reasons as well.

Throwing Insulation Into a Landfill Harms the Environment.

Because the majority of materials used to manufacture insulation are synthetic and natural fibers, these materials must be disposed with different methods according to the state’s hazardous waste regulations.

You’ll have to either take it to the local dump or recycling center, or if it’s small enough it can be thrown away with your regular trash.

As previously stated, if you dispose of insulation in your garbage dump, you could be putting yourself and other people at risk from exposure to chemicals and carcinogens that are contained in this type of material.

Also Read: Can You Recycle Vinyl Fencing?


In conclusion, when insulation gets old and dusty it can be recycled into new products that will help save the environment in the future.

Recycling insulation helps the environment and it also helps your wallet.

Because it is less money to dispose of waste insulation than buying new insulation. Reusing insulation is a much better choice than throwing it away!