How to Recycle Drywall

Rather than hauling leftover drywall from your building or remodeling project to the landfill, recycle them instead. You'll help save landfill space and reduce toxic gas emissions since the gypsum in drywall emits hydrogen sulfide or sulfur dioxide gases when it is buried or burned.

Recycling symbol

Recycled gypsum has several uses, including as a soil amendment, a cement additive and an ingredient in new drywall manufacturing.

  1. Locate a drywall recycler. Many general recycling facilities will accept drywall. Ask whether or not the facility will pick up your drywall or if you must haul it there yourself.

  2. Inspect the drywall before you recycle it. Remove any screws, nails and other foreign objects. Some recyclers might ask you to remove the paper backing from the drywall.

  3. If you are recycling drywall from an older building (before the mid-1970s), make sure the scraps are not painted with lead-based paint and that the drywall does not contain asbestos. Contact your local health or environmental agencies if you have questions.

  4. Set aside a designated trash bin or other container for drywall scraps. If you are working with a contractor, let him and his workers know that you plan on recycling leftover drywall.

  5. Consider using a full-service drywall recycling service. These companies offer recycling services that include bins or roll-off boxes for waste as well as hauling.

  6. Donate your leftover drywall to charity. Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit organization that relies on donated materials to build affordable homes. Check with your local chapter to see if it accepts leftover drywall, especially new drywall sheets of half size or larger.