Is Drywall Recyclable? (And Is Drywall Biodegradable?)

Have you ever thought of building or owning a house? If the answer to this question is yes then, it is possible that you are familiar with the uses of drywall. Drywall comes with myriads of benefits and advantages. Installing drywall in your home can meet several needs that may not be gotten when you use another type of wall in your building.

Apart from being cost-effective and affordable, drywall is generally considered to be the most suitable type of wall in this new dispensation for heat resistance. They come with a lot of benefits. Another quality or property that makes drywall special is its ability to insulate. During the heat and dry season, drywall helps to keep the air in, while in the cold season, it helps to keep the heat in. Aside from helping in keeping your home warm and cozy, having drywall will reduce your expenses on energy all year long.

Despite the numerous and wide range of benefits that come with drywall, there is usually a desire to know if this material is recyclable or not. The environment is a blessing to humans and it is quite essential that humans maintain it and keep its beauty in place. Hence, it is important that you know what to do with old drywall so as not to endanger yourself as well as your environment.

In this post, you will be guided through everything you need to know about drywall as well as what to do to the old ones you have. Is drywall recyclable? Can you put them in the recycle bin? Can you burn it in a fire pit? Does it pose any threat to the environment? These and many more are the questions to which answers and solutions will be provided in this post.

So, sit back and follow through with the content of this post till the end.

Can You Recycle Drywalls?

Drywall is generally known to pose several health hazards to humans and the environment. This is the reason it is important that you ensure that it well disposed of. You want to know how to go about this right? Well, the response is not far-fetched.

First and foremost, you need to know that drywall is recyclable. It can be remodeled and turned into new useful products and tools. This is why it is vital that you ensure that rather than going into your dumpster or into your refuse bin, your drywall goes to a recycler who will see to turning it into another useful material.

The basic challenge that many are confronted with is how to go about recycling their drywall, especially since Gypsum is the basic component of all modern drywall. Nonetheless, there are a lot of things for which this component can be used.

The first step you need to take is to get your old drywall to the recyclers. It is the duty of the recyclers to ensure that all contaminants and unhealthy items such as nails and screws as well as the papers are separated from the gypsum.

They proceed to make another product out of the gypsum. One common product that can be made from this gypsum is the pellet. It can also be ground into powder after the contaminants have been separated from it.

Thereafter, you collect the resulting materials (powder or pellet) and get them off to producers who make use of gypsum in creating various applications.

More than often, it is difficult for an average homeowner to figure out where to take his drywall for recycling. Usually, having contractors who are familiar and proficient in remodeling and recycling this material is essential.

It is important that these contractors know about how drywall is recycled. You can as well get your old drywall recycled by using the community waste program for bulky and large items. It is important that you get your drywall recycled to prevent harm to yourself and your immediate environment.

Can You Put Drywall In Recycle Bin?

This is another frequently asked question about drywall. From the previous paragraphs of this post, you must have learned that putting your drywall in a recycle bin can be hazardous. The question that comes to mind is “what are the dangers that come with putting your old drywall in the recycle bin?”.

Putting your old drywall in the recycle bin can be dangerous both to your health, that of your family as well as your surroundings. This is the reason you need to ensure that, this material is properly and adequately disposed of.

Drywall, particularly those that have been manufactured for a relatively long period of time is often associated with asbestos. By putting your old drywall in the recycle bin, you become vulnerable to lung cancer because research has shown that asbestos contained in drywall is a major cause of lung cancer in humans. To avoid being a victim of this infection, it is wise to avoid putting drywall in the recycle bin.

Hence, it is important that you get competent hands who are proficient at removing asbestos to help you in separating the hazardous element from the drywall. You can get it off to the recyclers after this has been done.

Apart from asbestos which is a basic cause of cancer, drywall also contains another hazardous element known as lead-based paint. This element can also pose a lot of risk to your health and safety both mentally and physically. If the paint gets discharged into the air and the particles get inhaled, a wide range of health conditions such as nerve disorder, blood pressure may arise.

Can You Burn Drywall In A Fire Pit?

Here is another question that is often asked about drywall. Gypsum, the common component used in the making of drywall is highly resistant to fire thereby, making it difficult to burn drywall. Except for the paper covering the drywall sheets, other components used in making it cannot be burnt. Even with a relatively high temperature, burning gypsum can be quite impossible.

Apart from gypsum, drywall contains a considerable amount of water. This makes it highly resistant to burning. Due to the water contained in it, it is able to lower the temperature of every surrounding material. This is the reason the paper covering will burn easily while the gypsum remains intact. Thus, drywall cannot be completely burnt.

It is, therefore, wiser to properly dispose of your old drywall by getting them collected by recyclers than trying to get it burned in the fire pit. This will only pose more threats to your environment as poisonous and unhealthy gases will be emitted and discharged during combustion. Now that you know that you cannot burn drywall, endeavor to give them to recyclers who will make other useful things out of it.

Is Drywall Biodegradable?

Whether drywall is biodegradable or not remains a burning question that people want to get answers to. In this section of the post, you will get to know whether this material can decay or not. Since drywall is made of natural elements and components such as water and gypsum, it can be said to be biodegradable.

Gypsum which is a major component of drywall absorbs a good amount of water which makes it decomposable. The paper covering as well is biodegradable.

When the drywall is under an oxygen-depleted condition, like being in a landfill for a long period of time or being several feet underground covered in a hole, the components can decompose and decay. However, this decomposition can pose a lot of challenges and risks to your health as well as that of your environment.

The decomposition of this material can lead to the release of poisonous gases such as hydrogen sulfite, sulfur dioxide and other unpleasant gases that are harmful to the existence of humans and the natural environment.

In all, as it stands, it seems that drywall biodegrading has a lot of consequences for humans and their environment, compared to when it is does not biodegrade. But then, we also all know the consequences of a used product like drywall remaining in the environment. So, what is the way forward? Well, it still remains to send the used drywall for recycling. this way, we would be saving the environment from many negative effects.  

Is Drywall Bad For The Environment?

Straight to the point, drywall is bad for the environment. There is no two way about this. Whatever poses threat to your mental and physical wellbeing as well as threatens the safety of your environment can be termed bad. Having a landfilled drywall has a lot of risks that come with it.

Gypsum, the major component of drywall contains sulfates, an element that is not environment friendly. When wet, the sulfates contained in the gypsum can get leached into the groundwater. The effect of this when consumed or used is diarrhea. The water gets contaminated and becomes unfit for human consumption.

By not disposing of your old drywall properly, you are making yourself and your environment susceptible to poisonous and hazardous gasses. Wet gypsum is known to emit hydrogen sulfite which apart from giving off an unpleasant and offensive odor is highly toxic when inhaled. Another poisonous gas that is often associated with incinerated drywall is sulfur dioxide.

With all these hazards and threats, it is highly recommended that you get your old drywall disposed of properly in order to prevent causing harm to yourself and the natural environment in which you live.

What Can Old Drywall Be Used For?

Considering the health risks and environmental hazards caused by this material, the best option to get rid of it is by disposing of it to recyclers who will make other useful items out of it. However, your old drywall can also be very useful.

Before you think of disposing of it, below are some creative and simple ways of reusing your old drywall.

1. It Is Useful For Fertilizing Garden Or Lawn

The major component of drywall is gypsum which can be quite beneficial to the soil. Gypsum can improve the fertility of the soil. Like limestone, gypsum can help in reducing the pH level of the soil and improve its overall fertility. By simply spreading it on your garden or lawn, you are making the soil fertile.

2. Compost Making

Drywall is biodegradable and due to this; it can be used in making compost. Ground drywall can add a lot of fertility to your compost. However, it is important that you know that making compost with drywall can result in the release of toxic gases. So, as much as possible, special processes should be applied.

3. Give It Out

If you are familiar with contractors who need a piece to make their production complete, you can reach out to them by giving them your old drywall. They will turn it into something useful.


Drywall is relatively very useful. Despite its myriads of uses, it is safer to get it recycled than put it in a recycle bin due to the dangers and threats it poses to the environment. Getting it recycled will reduce the risk of getting some poisonous gases discharged into the atmosphere. Take a step today and help save the environment.

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About Rinkesh

A true environmentalist by heart ❤️. Founded Conserve Energy Future with the sole motto of providing helpful information related to our rapidly depleting environment. Unless you strongly believe in Elon Musk‘s idea of making Mars as another habitable planet, do remember that there really is no 'Planet B' in this whole universe.