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Delivering a Circular Economy at USG

As part of USG’s commitment to sustainability, it is our goal to promote a circular economy by implementing an ambitious recycling focused program for qualified jobs and projects.

According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, a circular economy is based on three principles: eliminate waste and pollution, circulate products and materials, and regenerate nature. Each of these principles of a circular economy is “underpinned by a transition to renewable energy and materials,” which “decouples economic activity from the consumption of finite resources…a resilient system that is good for business, people, and the environment.”

Recycling products and materials for reuse creates a circular economy of resources that can ultimately reduce the amount of waste that ends up in a landfill. USG has piloted and seeks to expand recycling programs for clean USG branded standard and fire-rated paper faced wallboard scrap. Additionally, USG will continue its Ceilings Recycling Program in order to become the recognized leader in construction jobsite reclaim for gypsum board and ceiling tile recycling.

USG Take-Back Recycling Program

The USG Take-Back Recycling Program was established in 2023 to help USG and its customers to preserve natural resources and encourage material reuse. By recycling gypsum panels and ceiling panels into new building materials, USG aims to prevent reusable jobsite materials from being thrown into landfills where they so often end up today.

Benefits to the Customer

Not only can customers save time and money by reducing trips to the dumpster and landfill fees but recycling old panels can also minimize space limitations on the jobsite. As an added benefit, increasing the recycled content of products can support a customer’s green building certification goals and maximize LEED v4/v4.1 contribution to “Materials and Resources: Building product disclosure and optimization - sourcing of raw materials (MR c3).”

Benefits to USG

Creating the Take-Back Recycling Program allows USG the opportunity to offer new products with higher recycled content by collecting our customers’ recycled waste and increasing the use of post-consumer recycled content in USG products.

The Wallboard Recycling Initiative

The installation process for wallboard and many other building materials can create significant waste on the jobsite. Wallboard scrap represents a significant portion of all wallboard used on a typical project, of which the vast majority ends up in a landfill.

USG has recycled wallboard at its manufacturing plants internally for many years but collecting recycled gypsum and waste at construction projects will be a challenge that USG is prepared to support. In May 2014, USG partnered with industry groups to develop a methodology for recycling new construction wallboard waste.

Benefits to the Customer

Collecting clean wallboard waste is a challenge since it is often combined with other jobsite waste, which makes separation very difficult. By assisting in the development of processes to isolate wallboard waste at the jobsite for reprocessing, USG can support and lend a helping hand to the customer.

Benefits to USG

Recycling clean wallboard waste not only saves it from ending up in a landfill but also allows USG to reuse the processed gypsum to manufacture new USG Sheetrock® Brand wallboard. This enables USG to counteract the waste created through wallboard installation, reducing the strain on natural resources while creating a circular economy of wallboard.

Saving the Environment by the Truckload

Join us in our second century of sustainability to deliver a whole new era of impact. Once the program is live, we look forward to the participation of our customers in our efforts to make our 2030 goals a reality!

Learn more about USG’s commitment to sustainability here: