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Insulation Disposal: How to Get Rid of It

Getting rid of insulation? We'll help you avoid the hazards.

Close up of a strip of yellow insulation.

A Simple Guide for Insulation Waste Disposal

If you’re in a building, chances are you’re surrounded by insulation. It’s the primary means of keeping the temperature in your home stable and one of the easiest ways to save on energy bills. And, because insulation is so prevalent in buildings, it’s something you’ll need to decide what to do with when it’s time to replace or remove it.

Whether you're working on a large-scale building teardown with a demolition dumpster or looking for a way to recycle insulation during a home project, that process starts by determining what type of material you’re dealing with. Click the material type below to learn more about each and where you’re most likely to find them.

Fiberglass is the most common type of insulation material found in residential buildings. Common installation methods include batts and rolls as well as loose-fill blow-in. Rigid board installation is also possible.

Commonly found in: Walls, ceilings and air ducts.

Important Safety Reminder

If your home was built before 1990, beware of vermiculite insulation. The majority of this mineral-based insulation type was mined in a location that also had an asbestos deposit.

If you suspect your home contains vermiculite insulation, do not disturb it. Instead, contact a professional asbestos contractor to determine the next steps.


5 Ways to Dispose of Insulation

close up of insulation batting.

1. Sell It

Generally speaking, you shouldn’t sell used insulation. The potential for mold and rodent infestation makes it a hazardous waste that should be disposed of properly. However, if you have extra insulation that has never been used, selling it is a great option.

Fortunately, there are plenty of options when it comes to selling your extra insulation. Consider listing it on places like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace and other construction material-focused wholesale sites.

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Stacks of used insulation batting.

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3. Reuse Your Materials

There’s no rule that says you can’t reuse your insulation. Perhaps you are removing a wall to go for an open concept during a remodel. Why not reuse the batts and rolls in a different wall that is under-insulated? The key is knowing which type of insulation you’re working with. Nearly all insulation materials can be reused, with the exception of loose-fill blow-in types. Due to the delivery method, this type of insulation is single-use.

Insulation installed inside unfinished walls of house remodel.
Lightbulb icon.

Safety Tip

Always take caution when reusing your insulation. There’s potential for mold to have developed in the fibers or for a rodent to have made a home in them at some point. If you notice anything suspicious, you’re better off getting rid of the insulation and starting with a fresh piece.

Recycling center with separate containers for different types of materials.

4. Find a Recycler

Generally speaking, you can recycle insulation. However, it should be noted from the start that cellulose and foam board insulation can’t be recycled. That’s mostly for a good reason – the vast majority of these insulation types are already made of recycled materials. For example, most cellulose insulation is made of recycled newspapers saturated in fire-retardant material. However, it’s that fire-retardant material that makes it unrecyclable.

As for fiberglass and mineral wool insulations, they can be recycled. However, very few waste facilities are equipped to handle the job. As a result, they are not accepted with your curbside recycling. If you’re dealing with either of these types of insulation, call your local recycling facility to see if they accept insulation and set up a dropoff appointment. Or, if you’re working with a large amount of old insulation, see what recycling options your local dumpster company can offer to help you hit your project’s waste diversion goals.

5. Rent a Dumpster

Renting a dumpster is the quickest and most efficient way to get rid of insulation. Considering most insulation is tossed during a larger construction project that produces a variety of debris, a roll off dumpster allows you to throw everything out at the same time. Drywall? Spare lumber? Flooring? Throw those in the same dumpster as your insulation to get rid of everything fast.

Keep in mind that any insulation containing asbestos cannot be thrown out with any of the above methods. Instead, find a reliable asbestos professional to determine the safest option in your area.

a dumpster full of old insulation.

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Tossing More Than Plastic?

Choose a construction material for detailed disposal options.

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Carpet Carpet Scrap Metal Scrap Metal Concrete Concrete
Shingles Shingles Flooring Flooring Paint Paint

Insulation Disposal FAQs

Can insulation be recycled?

Can you burn fiberglass insulation?

Can you reuse insulation?

Is fiberglass insulation recyclable?

Additional Disposal and Recycling Resources

Looking for some other tips on how to handle construction debris? Check out the advice in some of our blog posts, resources and disposal guides.