Recycle Sheetrock by Making Garden Compost


Sheetrock, also called drywall, is in the walls of almost any building constructed over the last few decades. It is made of gypsum, a soft rock, with thick paper on each side. After a building project there are likely to be scraps of this material left over, and you may wonder if something better can be done with them than putting them into a landfill. Gypsum is natural, and will absorb water and break apart. The paper is biodegradable. So can you put it in your garden compost?

The answer is yes, and with a renewed focus on environmental consumption, finding a way to turn your disposed sheetrock into something that is once again useful is of great current importance. If you don't already compost, you should really start. The rich soil to be created by composting will provide excellent benefits for your home vegetable garden and flower bed.

Who would not want nutrient-rich soil to lay in their vegetable garden or flower bed? If you do not already have a compost pile, read about to make your own here. Otherwise read on for information on composting used sheetrock.

New, Clean Sheetrock

TThe sheetrock should be new and have no paint or other substances on it that could be toxic. If it is taken out of a structure during renovations or demolition, do not compost it. Some drywall has fiberglass in the paper coating, and this should not be put in compost.

Small Pieces

Break the sheetrock into small pieces. It won't degrade well if there is too much of it in the compost. It needs moisture to break down. If it is dry, it will last as long as if it were in your walls. Gypsum will add nitrogen to the compost if it is allowed to break down completely.