39,000 Pounds of Ceiling Tiles Recycled
December 21, 2010
It took over two years to accumulate, but Sandia National Laboratories/New Mexico tenaciously pursued diverting a full truckload of acoustic lay-in ceiling tiles from going to the landfill and returned them to the manufacturer for recycle. Pollution Prevention (P2) and Sandia’s Facilities team worked diligently with the manufacturer to certify all ceiling tiles to be free of asbestos and other potential contamination. Ceiling tile recycling is not a forgiving process, as the material must be free of contamination to be reusable. To encourage end users to recycle, the manufacturer even provided free shipping to move all the used ceiling tiles back to their plant in Florida.
P2 is taking a step toward the goal of Zero Waste through this recycling process. It supports Sandia’s construction specification that requires the purchase of ceiling tiles made with recycled content. Purchasing recycled content ceiling tiles creates demand for used materials to recycle, creating a closed loop recycling process. The turnaround time from recycler to consumer, as little as three months, makes it possible that Sandia may even buy back some of the material we recycled for new use in 2011.