San Francisco Startup Releases 100% Recycled Drywall

Recently emerging “from stealth mode,” a drywall company out of San Francisco, Calif., is making a splash on the green building materials scene. CleanBoard has developed gypsum drywall made from 100 percent recycled materials and is looking to build a new, solar-powered factory in the Mohave Desert.

According to CleanBoard, “buildings are responsible for more than half of all manmade greenhouse gas emissions in the USA so it is imperative that we develop technologies that allow us to construct and inhabit buildings in a more sustainable way.”

The company uses gypsum from coal-fired power plants, where scrubbers convert toxic sulfur dioxide emissions into calcium sulfate, or gypsum. The company will also utilize scrap wall board from construction jobs, where some estimates suggest that 15 percent of drywall is wasted on construction sites. Both recycling concepts are new, since gypsum for drywall is typically open-pit mined.

Drywall is a commonly used building material both in structures ranging from homes to offices. -

Drywall is a commonly used building material both in structures ranging from homes to offices. -


CleanBoard states that drywall manufacture accounts for 1 percent of all primary industrial energy used in the U.S., emitting more greenhouse gasses than 6.2 million cars. Additionally, the common practice of transporting drywall large distances from its point of manufacture to the job site adds more emissions.

CleanBoard can contribute up to eight LEED points to a project, making it an asset to LEED building projects. Because CleanBoard is made of 94 percent post-industrial and 5 percent post-consumer recycled material by weight, 99 percent of the purchase price counts towards achieving LEED Credits.

The expected factory will use heat from the sun in the manufacturing process, rather than for electricity production. While the factory is being built, CleanBoard is offsetting its emissions to create a zero carbon footprint.

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  2. Hello,

    We are remodeling a condo for a client and during the demo of some interior walls, we have noticed an unmarked brand of drywall that has brown paper versus the normal gray that we are used to seeing. This particular drywall has an imprint on the back, “100% Recycled Paper Since 1967″. We have also seen pieces with a printed area, ” 4FEETX12FEETX1/2INCH” and then some codes that appear to have the year 2006 in the code, but no manufacturer name.

    Do you know who this company is and if we can still purchase this type of drywall? Please respond with email to


  3. I think it’s common to see the paper facing on drywall as a recycled product. As I understand it, the post-industrial recycling of flue gas byproducts is new in the last 10 or 15 years. National Gypsum Company has some plants on the east coast that are producing 95% post-industrial, 5% post-consumer drywall that I use. I don’t know if you can get these in California, or if they are worth it to ship that far. I found it through Green Depot. It sounds like this new company out of San Francisco, in this article is up to good things.

    The drywall recycled from my construction sites, as I understand it, goes not into new wallboard, but is ground up to form an agricultural soil additive. In Philadelphia we’ve found it’s easier and less expensive to recycle the drywall than to put it in a landfill.

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