Whenever you finish redoing a ceiling, you'll likely be left with a large pile of old ceiling tiles and debris. Disposing of these ceiling tiles properly can sometimes be tricky, especially since they're generally not recyclable by the usual means and may even contain asbestos if they were installed prior to 1990. So what do you do? Well, that depends on the situation.
How to Dispose of Ceiling Tiles
The answer to "Are ceiling tiles recyclable?" isn't a straightforward "yes" or "no." While ceiling tiles generally can't just be tossed into your recycling bin, there are several programs available that may be able to reuse the old material. To find out if one of these programs is available in your area, contact your local waste management office. They should have any information you'll need on how to make sure your old ceiling tiles are repurposed.
Unfortunately, there's no guarantee that your area will have a program dedicated to the recycling of ceiling tiles. When this is the case, you should still contact your local waste management officials, as they'll be able to fill you in on how to properly dispose of the ceiling tiles in a safe way. Sometimes, you'll need to drive to a landfill to drop off the tiles, and other times, you'll merely have to bag up the tiles and leave them by the curb for a scheduled pickup. The preferred method will change from one municipality to the next.
If your ceiling tiles were originally installed before 1990, however, you may need to turn to an outside company for disposal. Tiles made before this time were largely manufactured using asbestos and can pose significant health risks. For this reason, tiles with asbestos can't simply be thrown away. Trained professionals will need to come in and test whether or not the harmful substance is present. Should they discover that asbestos is in fact present in your tiles, they can safely remove the material from your home and clean any traces of it from the area.