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Recycling in the Tile Industry

Recycling has become a very important aspect of the building industry, as well as in related industries, over the past decade or so. The tile industry is no exception and has made great strides in its efforts to reduce its carbon footprint. This is also in response to the standards set forth by the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED initiative – products with recycled components have a stronger chance of being selected for a LEED project than those that don’t.

Many factories are currently recycling pre-consumer material, or manufacturing waste, back into the manufacturing process. Waste water from the manufacturing process is also being cleaned up and re-introduced. Better technologies are also being developed, which will allow companies to be able to recycle post-consumer tile – tile that has been previously installed into homes and businesses – to make new tile products.

Several of the manufacturers we work with incorporate recycling initiatives into their production processes. Terra Green, for example, uses recycled glass in its products and has been since the late 1970s. In fact, all of Terra Green’s products are manufactured with over 55% recycled glass. Terra Green products are certified by Scientific Certification Systems (SCS), the most prestigious independent certification organization in the country.

Below are a few statistics from Terra Green’s Technical Director/Vice President of Operations in regard to where their recycled glass comes from:

  • Over 43% of Terra Green’s formulation in all products consists of pre-consumer plate glass from one aircraft window laminating facility. The process of laminating and bending the glass is rather intensive, which creates a good bit of scrap glass.
  • More than 14% of Terra Green’s formulation in all products comes from a comingled post-consumer bottle glass, which consists of green, clear, brown, and blue bottles that once held beverages.

Florida Tile is another one of our manufacturers with a recycling program. The Florida Tile CARES (Creating A Responsible Environmental Strategy) initiative includes several activities designed to decrease the brand’s carbon footprint, which includes the creation of products made of 40% recycled content that is certified by Bureau Veritas, a leading conformity assessment and certification service. Additionally, Florida Tile’s annual recycling from its factory includes 5,000,000 pounds of finished goods recycled for clean fill; 2,000,000 pounds of solid clay recycled into our body; and 1,630,000 gallons of water recycled.

Florida Tile – Formations

Florida Tile – Millenia

In addition to these manufacturers, Conestoga Tile is pleased to work with many others who have green initiatives. Readers are welcome to visit our website, where links to each manufacturer’s green pages can be found.

As building industry professionals and consumers alike become more aware of the importance of reducing their carbon footprints, we can expect to see more tile manufacturers incorporating recycling practices into the manufacturing process, as well as creating products from recycled materials. If you are interested in including tile products made of recycled content in your next project, please contact Conestoga Tile at 888-415-5689.

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