Drywall Recycling and Disposal Services Available
Drywall or gypsum is used to create the walls inside homes because of its fire rating and because it can be easily painted or wallpapered. Old drywall was made differently from the newer drywall, so there are rules that determine how it needs to be gotten rid of. In older houses, it’s necessary to have it tested before it can be removed and disposed of to ensure it is disposed of properly. This is according to the laws and rules from local governments and recycling facilities, which can be very strict about how the drywall is disposed of to prevent major issues.
What is Drywall?
Drywall is made from gypsum, which is a naturally occurring mineral. The mineral is made from calcium sulfate and water, and the scientific name is hydrous calcium sulfate. It is mined from deposits that were formed by ancient seabeds and can be used for a variety of different purposes. When it’s pressed into a board between sheets of paper, it is turned into drywall and can be used in homes to form the walls. Once it is installed in a home it can be painted or have wallpaper installed on it. It is durable, but if it does break, drywall is generally easy to repair with the right methods.
Where and How is Drywall Used Today?
Today, more than 80% of the gypsum that is mined is used to create drywall and other manufactured products. The main reason for this is the many benefits that gypsum provides. Calcined gypsum can be watered down and used to create a paste. This paste can be applied to any surface or molded on its own into the desired shape. This is how it is made into drywall as well as how it can be used to repair damaged drywall surfaces. As it dries, the gypsum becomes hard. It is naturally fire-resistant, which means it can be used to improve the first rating of the homes and businesses it’s used in.
How Is Drywall Made?
Once the gypsum has been mined, it needs to be calcined before t can be used in drywall. This process heats the gypsum to remove part of the water and forms stucco. At this point, more water is added to create a slurry texture. That is spread onto a sheet of paper, and then another paper is laid on top. After drying for a few minutes, the panels can be cut apart, and then the entire panel is placed in a kiln where it will dry. When the drying process is done, the drywall panels can be cut to the appropriate size depending on the construction needs. Drywall ranges in thickness from ½ in to ¾ in, and sizes can be up to four feet by eight feet, though specialized production can create other sizes and thicknesses as well.
The Issue with Drywall in Landfills
When the drywall is removed from a home or business, it needs to be disposed of properly. In landfills, biological and chemical reactions can occur to the drywall, which can have dangerous environmental impacts. As the drywall gets wet, some of the gypsum will end up dissolving into the water, and if it reaches groundwater, it could contaminate the groundwater with sulfate. At landfills that aren’t lined to protect against this, high concentrations of sulfate have been found in the groundwater.
The other issue is that as the drywall sits in the landfill, it starts to dissolve and create hydrogen sulfide, a gas that smells like rotten eggs. This happens in areas like landfills as the drywall breaks down, and in landfills where there is a lot of drywall, this can happen in large amounts. Along with the smell, if this process does occur, workers must be cautious if they may come in contact with the gas. As a result of the issue, some areas have banned gypsum drywall from being placed in landfills. Other options need to be considered instead of taking drywall to a landfill.
Recycling Drywall is Always the Better Option
One of the best options is to recycle drywall. Cutoffs from new construction as well as used drywall can be recycled. The process for recycling drywall does depend on the facility it is being taken to. Some will require that the drywall be tested before being brought to the facility because drywall installed prior to 1990 can have asbestos in it. Other facilities may not require the testing, but the drywall will need to be bagged properly before it can be taken to the facility. We can review the rules for recycling drywall to ensure you know how to handle it after the removal from a home so there are no issues during the recycling process. Either way, your drywall load should be free from other building supplies such as glass, wood, or scrap metal in order to prevent contamination at the facility.
How to Recycle Drywall with One of Our Drywall Recycling Bins
When you decide to use one of our drywall recycling bins, we can help you with the recycling process. Our specialists will help you determine the appropriate size bin for your project and let you know exactly how to handle any drywall that is removed and will be able to deposit a bin on your property to contain any drywall that is removed from the home. When the bin arrives, you can start filling it with the drywall that needs to be disposed of. It is necessary to separate the drywall from other materials, which can be placed in a separate bin. Once the bin is ready, we will come to pick it up and handle everything from there.
Are you planning a renovation project for your home? If you need to get rid of drywall, it’s important to dispose of it properly, and recycling is often the best option. But, recycling drywall doesn’t need to be difficult or add a lot of time to your project. Our experts can help you understand the pickup and recycling process, and ensure your drywall recycling bin arrives on time for the start of the project. Call us today to learn more.