Is cellulose insulation recyclable?

Asked By: Kaye Tarrataca | Last Updated: 29th January, 2020
Category: home and garden indoor environmental quality
4.5/5 (128 Views . 21 Votes)
Cellulose insulation, meanwhile, cannot be recycled. That's because of the fire-retardant materials used in cellulose. So while cellulose is environmentally friendly in almost every other respect, there is this one downside: you can't recycle it.

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Consequently, can cellulose be recycled?

Cellulose has more recycled content than other insulation products. It is generally 80 percent recycled newsprint and 20 percent non-toxic fire retardants. Leftover scrap can be recycled, unlike fiberglass and other insulation types.

One may also ask, is cellulose insulation sustainable? Cellulose is a basic part of plants. After the paper has been used, the plant fiber gets a new life when it's woven together to create a strong, durable material called cellulose insulation. And that insulation is not only a sustainable option for homes and buildings, but it also offers other important advantages.

Then, is cellulose insulation biodegradable?

Cellulose insulation naturally breaks down after its useful life–unlike fiberglass or foam which do not. In the event of a natural disaster, cellulose insulation will leave only non-toxic, biodegradable material for clean-up rather than debris that will never decompose.

Is cellulose insulation dangerous?

Cellulose insulation is safe. It is made of paper, but the chemical treatment provides it with permanent fire resistance. There's been static generated by the fiberglass industry warning that cellulose could burn. But independent testing confirms it's safe and cellulose is approved by all building codes.

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Is cellulose eco friendly?

Cellulose: Environmentally Friendly Insulation for Any Home
Cellulose insulation is one of the most environmentally types of insulation. Made of up to 85 percent recycled content (mainly newspaper), cellulose uses a minimal amount of energy to produce.

What does recycled paper become?

The paper is taken to a recycling plant where it is separated into types and grades. The separated paper is then washed with soapy water to remove inks, plastic film, staples and glue. By adding different materials to the slurry, different paper products can be created, such as cardboard, newsprints or office paper.

How long has cellulose insulation been around?

The 1950s – 1970s. Another form of insulation that became popular is cellulose. Made of newspaper, cardboard, straw, sawdust, or cotton, cellulose was actually one of the earliest types of insulation.

Does cellulose need a vapor barrier?

With Modern's Cellulose insulation, a vapor barrier is not recommended except in very cold weather or high moisture areas such as spas or pool buildings. However, many building codes do require an Air barrier or Vapor retarder to be installed. Cellulose insulation has a high density compared to fiberglass.

Does cellulose insulation mold?


Excessive moisture causes the cellulose to sag and settle, an effect that is especially detrimental in wall cavities. Settled insulation could leave the entire upper half of your walls uninsulated! Mold growth sets in: Thanks to its chemical treatment, mold doesn't grow on cellulose insulation.

Does cellulose insulation attract termites?

Yes, termites and especially the Formosan termites are drawn to cellulose. There is one company that I know of that manufactures the best insulation available hands down. It is cellulose, however, it is treated with a non-toxic chemical.

Does cellulose insulation contain asbestos?

If this sounds like what you have, it is likely cellulose insulation, which contains a higher amount of recycled paper, without minerals. This means cellulose insulation does not contain asbestos and is a safe insulation, blown into the cavities.

Is cellulose insulation good for soundproofing?

Cellulose insulation can be very effective, but it needs to be installed perfectly, or the soundproofing will not work. Lack of insulation at the wall cavity will still allow sound to pass through.

Which is better cellulose or fiberglass blown in insulation?

At 3.5 per inch of material, the R-value of blown-in cellulose is 23% better per inch than fiberglass batts! According to research done at the Oak Ridge National Lab, fiberglass loses up to 50% of its R-value in very cold conditions; making cellulose a better choice for homes in northern climates.

Can you compost cellulose insulation?


As long as it has not been chemically treated in any major way you should be alright. You could probably even compost the stuff. As long as it has not been chemically treated in any major way you should be alright. You could probably even compost the stuff.

Does cellulose insulation cause dust?

It can be installed as either a loose-fill or blown-in insulation. While it may be one of the oldest materials, cellulose can still have a number of issues ranging from dust getting all over your home to the material settling leaving areas uninsulated.

How do you dispose of insulation safely?

How to Dispose of a Blown in Insulation Correctly
  1. Gather the loose-fill insulation, regardless of type, into plastic trash bags.
  2. Squeeze the bags to remove excess air and then secure the end of the bag with a plastic or wire tie.
  3. Place the filled trash bag into a second high-density trash bag for added sealing.

Is Fiberglass Insulation environmentally friendly?

Fiberglass insulation, a.k.a. “the pink stuff,” may be the cheapest option, but it's far from the most eco-friendly. And while fiberglass insulation can contain up to 30 percent recycled glass, it's no match for the impressive 80 percent recycled content that some insulation options can offer.

Does fiberglass insulation decompose?

Water damage from roof leaks can degrade the insulation and break it down faster. If mold forms on the insulation, it will not remain effective. Batt insulation (fiberglass or cellulose) tends to fall down from crawl spaces or ceilings starting 15 to 20 years after installation.

Is cellulose toxic to humans?


Is cellulose toxic? No. It is considered a nuisance dust by the E.P.A. and the borates that the cellulose is treated with are non-toxic to humans.

Should I remove cellulose insulation?

Over time, however, cellulose insulation can settle, limiting its thermal efficiency. In such cases, the cellulose must be removed. Loose cellulose is extremely messy and dirty. To prevent the particles from contaminating the house, seal off the room in which you work and place the vacuum outside, if possible.

What is the R value of cellulose?

The R-value of loose fill cellulose is R-3.2 to 3.8 per inch2. Loose fill fiberglass has an R-value of R-2.2 to 2.7 per inch3. Achieving the desired R-value depends on both the depth of the insulation and its density.