Insulation made from recovered materials is available for thermal insulating applications. The product is available in several forms including rolls, loose-fill, and spray foam. Insulation also can include a range of recovered materials such as glass, slag, paper fiber, and plastics. One manufacturer grinds postconsumer glass bottles into a substitute for the sand used in glass fibers. Others use slag for rock wool or old newspaper for cellulose insulation.
- Recommended Recovered Materials Content Ranges
- Product Specifications
- Product Information
- Additional Links
EPA's Recovered Materials Advisory Notice (RMAN) recommends recycled-content levels for purchasing building insulation as shown in the table below.
|Product||Material||Postconsumer Content (%)||Total Recovered Materials Content (%)|
|Rock Wool||Slag||--||75||Fiberglass||Glass Cullet||--||20-25|
|Cellulose Loose-Fill and Spray-On||Postconsumer Paper||75||75||Perlite Composite Board||Postconsumer Paper||23||23|
|Plastic Rigid Foam, Polyisocyanurate/Polyurethane:|
|Glass Fiber Reinforced||--||--||6||Phenolic Rigid Foam||--||--||5|
|Plastic, Non-Woven Batt||Recovered and/or Postconsumer Plastics||--||100|
In 1993, the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) issued a standard for the composition of cullet used in the manufacture of fiberglass insulation, D 5359, "Glass Cullet Recovered from Waste for Use in Manufacture of Glass Fiber." EPA recommends that procuring agencies reference this specification in Invitations for Bid and Requests for Proposals.Database of Manufacturers and Suppliers
Building insulation can be ordered through the General Service Administration's (GSA's) online ordering system. In addition, GSA publishes various supply catalogues, guides, and schedules for recycled-content products available through the Federal Supply Service.
Buy-Recycled Series: Construction Products (PDF) (11 pp, 104K, About PDF)
This fact sheet highlights the construction products designated in the CPG, including building insulation, and includes recommended recovered-content levels and a list of resources.
Technical Background Documents
Technical background information on building insulation was published in the Federal Register on February 17, 1989 (54 FR 7328) and codified at 40 CFR 247. You can view this document at the RCRA Docket in Washington, DC. To obtain the address of the Docket and make an appointment, call 202 566-0270. This product designation was one of five incorporated in CPG I/RMAN I on May 1, 1995 (60 FR 21370-21386).