How to Dispose of Insulation (the right way)

Fiberglass insulation is found in most homes and commercial spaces. They exist in the form of batts and rolls.

So, you can place it onto walls, ceilings, and floors. You can also fit them between beams, studs, and joists.

The purpose of fiberglass insulation is to prevent cold, heat, and sound from coming in or going out of a room.

If you have additional or old fiberglass insulation that you want to get rid of, the process is simple. Thus, here’s a guide on how to dispose of insulation.

Step 1 – Consult Your Local Waste Collection Agency

Every city has its requirements and laws for the disposal or recycling of certain materials.

In the case of old fiberglass insulation, the material may have had vermiculite that may have had asbestos fibers.

Disposing of that can be tricky, so it’s best to have professionals handle that.

Save Time, Money, and Effort by Consulting Your Local Waste Collection Agency

If your insulation is not old and you’re replacing it out of routine, consult a waste collection agency.

The agency can educate you on specific local disposal and recycling regulations and state and federal regulations.

Failing to abide by the legal rules could put you into trouble with the law.

Due to that, you may have to spend a significant amount of money on attorney fees and legal penalties.

Step 2 – Assess the Insulation Thoroughly

You should assess the materials’ condition before getting them ready for disposal. You may notice some deterioration or possible signs of asbestos.

If the insulation is showing significant signs of wear, you should get rid of it right away. You can consider hiring a professional to assess the insulation if you’re unsure what to look for.

Step 3 – Choose a Well-Ventilated Space

You should perform the disposal process in a well-ventilated room to prevent inhaling the fiberglass dust.

Pick a large room with open doors, windows, and an exhaust. You should also consider a room with minimal furniture. This way, you can clean up whatever dust and debris fall to the ground.

Step 4 – Wear the Appropriate Attire for Disposing of Insulation

It’s critical to wear the appropriate attire for disposing of insulation. It ensures your safety and that of anyone around you.

Therefore, you should wear long trousers and a long sleeves shirt to protect your skin. Moreover, a head covering is also a good idea.

Wear Old Clothes for the Disposal Process

Whatever clothes you’re wearing, make sure that they’re old. Ideally, you should dispose of those clothes.

This is because they will likely contain traces of fiberglass after the insulation disposal process.

Fiberglass insulation can cause irritation to your skin if it comes into contact with it. If that does happen, don’t panic and rub fiberglass on your skin.

Instead, wash your affected skin thoroughly with water and mild soap.

Use Appropriate Gloves

Considering how fiberglass can be detrimental to your skin, you should use a pair of thick work gloves to keep your hands safe. Such gloves may not provide you with the best mobility. However, they will enable you to carry out the disposal process worry-free.

Secure Goggles to Keep Your Eyes Safe

Just like gloves, a pair of safety goggles is a necessity. They will prevent any fiberglass dust or debris from getting into your eyes.

You could also use safety glasses for this process. However, goggles that wrap under your eyes and sides are a safer option.

If you wear spectacles, purchase goggles large enough to allow them to fit inside. Your local hardware store should have the appropriate googles you need.

There still may a chance that some fiberglass dust or debris gets in your eyes when cleaning up. In that case, don’t rub your eyes at all.

Head over to sink with running water, and continuously splash water in your affected eye for 15 minutes.

Wear a Dust Mask

Wear a dust mask to prevent inhaling fiberglass insulation dust.

Consider an activated charcoal mask for optimal protection to your lungs.

Step 5 – Isolate Yourself in the Disposal Space

It’s best to ensure that you’re alone in the room you’re disposing of insulation. This way, you can avoid any distractions to what you’re doing.

Moreover, it’ll help prevent any fiberglass insulation dust or debris from getting on their skin.

Inform Other Members in Your Home

Try and inform all members of your household that you’re disposing of insulation. Mention the time you’ll begin and that they shouldn’t disturb you.

If they do have to enter the room, make sure they have protective attire on, as well.

Don’t Let Pets and Children Enter the Room

Block the room you’re working in from pets and children.

You don’t want them to accidentally touch or inhale fiberglass insulation debris or dust.

Step 6 – Select Bags to Dispose of Insulation

The best bags for disposing of insulation are contractor bags.

These bags are large and durable. So, they’re perfect for carrying significant amounts of insulation.

Step 7 – Begin Bagging the Fiberglass Insulation

You will need to bag the fiber insulation securely in the contractor bags. This way, you’ll prevent any of it from getting out during handling and transportation.

You can expect rolled fiberglass insulation to be anywhere between 3.5 inches and 12 inches thick.

Double the Contractor Bags to Make Them More Secure

Contractor bags are perfect for any insulation of this thickness. That said, it’s best to double the bags by placing one empty into the other.

Then, you fill it with fiberglass insulation. This way, you can ensure the contents in the bag are more safely secure. Once each bag is full, seal it so that it does not leak.

Step 8 – Clean Up the Disposal Room

After you’ve bagged all of the fiberglass insulation, you will need to clean the room in which you were working.

You can vacuum or sweep up all of the fiberglass insulation dust and debris.

Next, transfer whatever dust and debris you picked up from cleaning and add them to one of the contractor bags. This way, you’ll prevent any excess dust from spreading in your home.

Step 9 – Take the Full Bags to the Appropriate Disposal Area

Because fiberglass insulation is potentially dangerous, you cannot dispose of them in trash bins. Instead, you will need to call your local waste authority.

You may also have to contact your county waste management department.

Follow the Waste Authority Personnel’s Exact Disposal Instructions

The waste authority personnel will inform you of where you need to deliver the bags for disposal.

In the case of insulation disposal, disposal sites for building materials are typically used.

Make sure that you go to specific locations that the waste authority personnel direct you to. This way, you can avoid getting into legal trouble and paying penalties in the future.

Also, follow every instruction they provide on how to go about the disposal process. As a result, you can avoid any unwanted penalties due to improper disposal.

You May Have to Pay a Fee

You may have to pay a small fee to dispose of fiberglass insulation at some disposal sites.

The fee may depend on your city or the specific disposal site you visit.

Consider Recycling Instead

When you speak to your local waste disposal authority, ask them about recycling options.

The National Insulation Association takes some initiatives to recycle fiberglass insulation. Thus, that may be a greener option than disposal.

The recycled fiberglass insulation is then developed into thermal or acoustic insulation.

Ask Your Local Waste Disposal Authority to Deliver the Insulation for You

Ask your local waste disposal authority to deliver the insulation for you if you cannot give it yourself.

The department may charge you a small fee for the request. However, you will save time, money, and effort if the recycling facility is far from your home.

Last Few Words on Insulation Disposal

Disposing of fiberglass insulation is a reasonably straightforward process if you know what to do.

You must remember that you follow each step carefully, as mentioned above. Moreover, you will need to adhere to proper safety protocols to keep you and your home safe.

In some cases, disposing of fiberglass insulation can be challenging. Old insulation with mold and asbestos are best left to professionals.

Disposing of such insulation requires specialized equipment, which you may not have access to or know to use.

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