A Practical View of Recycling Drywall and New Unpainted Scrap

Did you know that 12% of new drywall is completely wasted during a typical drywall installation?  That’s literally thousands and thousands of tons of wasted new unpainted drywall scrap!  Drywall waste is created not only by new construction but also from the manufacturing process, renovations and demolition projects.


One of the main sources of recycling drywall comes from gypsum recycling specifically, as well as gunite.  Scrap can also be produced and used for interior wall cavities.

What is the difference between drywall new unpainted scrap and used drywall?

Actually, the new drywall is in better shape than demolition drywall, since it is has less contaminants.  This explains why it is commonly recycled.  Drywall paper is usually separated from the gypsum and then ground up using a mill or chipper.  The result is powder and some shredded paper.  The powder can be recycled or molded into pellets, while the paper can be used for soil amendment.  It can also be used to create new paperboard.

What about contaminants in drywall new unpainted scrap?

Contaminants include nails, tape, joint compound (which may contain asbestos) and lead-based paint.  These contaminated items may have to be disposed of in a safe manner.  Remember also that if you are involved in construction you can reduce drywall waste by ordering standardized walls, flat ceilings, customized sheets and recyclable substitutes.

Are you wondering where to turn for help in recycling drywall?

There are many local and national institutions that can help you in recycling dry wall new unpainted scrap.  It is best to contact a local authority on the subject so you can find out information about air quality and any state or local permits you might require if you are to recycle the items yourself.  This is a great way to join the green movement!