Materials that can be recycled and used as insulation
Many types of insulation can be made from recycled materials, which helps reduce their environmental impact. Some of the more common ones include:
- Fibreglass/glass wool
- Rockwool/ mineral wool
- Denim batts
- Straw bales
Fibreglass and rock wool in particular can be made from recycled and respun insulation materials. Cellulose insulation is almost always made from recycled paper.
Types of insulation that can be reused
Most insulation types will last for the life of the home, but some materials can also be reclaimed at the end of the building’s life. Fibreglass and rockwool can both be melted down and re-spun, and cellulose is already made of recycled paper, which can be recycled again.
Batts made of long lasting natural fibres such as natural wool and cotton can be re-used without any further treatment or reconditioning too, provided they've been kept dry and haven't suffered any damage or significant compression.
Other types of structurally incorporated insulation such as structural insulated panels (SIPs) may also be re-useable, depending on the quality of the panels after deconstruction of the home.
The cost and effectiveness of each recycled insulation material may vary slightly, but most manufacturers will not charge any more or less for using recycled materials.