Can You Recycle Insulation

Can You Recycle Insulation?

Insulation is one of the toughest things to recycle. Not so much because it isn’t recyclable. Most installation is. It is more the fact that actually finding somewhere that accepts it is going to be incredibly difficult.

Can You Recycle Insulation?
Can You Recycle Insulation?

Recycling insulation will depend on the type of material used. Fiberglass insulation is the most common type and can be recycled by specialty centers. Mineral wool is another type of insulation that can be recycled. Other types either need specialists to remove or aren’t as easily recycled.

Here, we want to take a look at the various types of insulation on the market. Hopefully, by reading through this information, you will start to get a feel for which type of insulation is recyclable and how you can deal with it.

Building Materials

It is worth noting that in most places, insulation will be classed as building materials. This means that you will not be able to take it to a site and recycle it for free.

You will have to pay a small amount. This is, mostly, because towns and cities do not want companies to use municipal facilities to dispose of their trade waste so, yes, this also applies to your average homeowner too.

You Cannot Leave By the Side of the Road

In almost all cases, you cannot just leave insulation by the side of the road. If it is recyclable, then you will have to take it to a recycling center that deals with insulation. If you do not, then you could be ‘enjoying’ some rather hefty fines for putting out insulation and leaving it there.

Work With Professionals

If you want to recycle insulation, then we always suggest that you work with professionals. This is because, in some cases, insulation can be tough to work with. For example, there are still a lot of homes in the United States that have asbestos and trust us, that is not something that you want to come into contact with.

If you handle it incorrectly, then it could end up causing cancer. This is why you want to have a team that will do the job professionally with the right equipment.

Of course, the right company will also be able to remove the insulation properly. It will help to prevent breakage and that, ultimately, means that recycling the insulation should be simpler.

If that wasn’t enough, many of the top insulation companies will even be able to recycle the items for you. This will give you peace of mind knowing that you will not have to track down somewhere to recycle your insulation.

Recycling Insulation

Fiberglass Insulation

This is the most common type of insulation in American homes. Thankfully, it is completely recyclable.

However, as we said, you do have to bear in mind that not everywhere is going to accept fiberglass for recycling. This is because it is a tricky material to deal with.

While you will not have to prepare the fiberglass insulation before you recycle it, it is worth noting that it cannot be recycled if it is too dirty. For example, if mold has started to form on it, or if small cracks in the walls have made it filthy.

In those cases, you will have to take the fiberglass insulation to a local dump that deals with trade waste. It cannot be recycled in that condition.

Remember, you can also reuse fiberglass installation in your own home if it is still in a fairly decent condition.

Cellulose Insulation

More and more homes are now being built with cellulose insulation. This is because it is a ‘green’ way to insulate your home. It is also incredibly affordable.

The problem is that cellulose insulation cannot actually be recycled. It is because it is packed to the brim with chemicals, and nobody really has the ability to separate the chemicals from the cellulose insulation.

It isn’t all bad news, though. You see, cellulose insulation can be reused and easily fixed. Once you have cellulose insulation in place, it is pretty much going to be in place for decades and decades, with a few touch-ups here and there.

The only thing that you really need to know about cellulose insulation is that the only way it can be reused is if you call in a team of professionals to work on it for you. It can’t be fixed or reused with your standard household tools.

Mineral Wool Insulation

This can be reused and recycled. Although, once again, this only applies if the mineral wool is in a fairly decent condition, to begin with.

You will probably find that there are a lot more recycling centers around that accept mineral wool insulation than fiberglass insulation. This is because it is a highly recycled product. Of course, you should always call in advance just to ‘double-check’ that it can be handled at your selected location.

Polyurethane Foam

While this can be recycled, it is incredibly rare to find a local recycling center that can deal with it. As a result, a lot of it will end up in a landfill.

This is the type of insulation that you need to be the most wary of too. This is because it can catch on fire incredibly easily. Again, this is something that you will want to talk to a professional to ensure that it is handled correctly.

It also ensures that they can track down somewhere to dispose of it. You don’t need to worry.

Can You Throw Insulation In Your Trash?

No. We do not think there is a single city or town that will allow this. This is because the insulation is classed as industrial waste.

You will either have to take it to the dump yourself or find a recycling center. As we said before, if you do not do that, then you will have fines coming your way.


Insulation can be recycled, and often reused on your property. It is not something that is easy to recycle by any stretch of the imagination.

However, it can be done. All you need to do is ensure that you have a professional team of installers working on your insulation. Chances are that you wouldn’t be able to dispose of it yourself. There just aren’t enough recycling plants around for that.