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Materials Recycler of the Year (SME): Armstrong Ceilings

In 1999, Armstrong World Industries introduced the world’s first ceiling recycling programme in the United States. To date, worldwide, the company has recycled over 11.5 million m² of old ceiling material. The programme was launched in the UK in 2003, starting with an End-Of-Life scheme, then an Off-Cut recycling (OCR) scheme in 2010.

In the 10 years since then both schemes have recycled more than 500 tonnes that would have gone to landfill. In 2012 alone, more than 68,399m² was saved from landfill, the equivalent of about 274 skips which at a landfill tax cost of about £120 per skip would have saved contractors almost £33,000. For Armstrong, the cost of transport, which is the main cost, is offset by the value of the material recovered.

Its EOL recycling scheme for refurbishment and strip out projects involves used mineral wool tiles being 100% fully recycled into the mix at its state-of-the-art Team Valley production facility in Gateshead, and processed into new ceiling tiles. The OCR scheme involves storing off-cut tiles from new ceiling installations on site in specially supplied bags that are collected by the company to be recycled into new ceiling tiles.

The percentage of recycled material in Armstrong’s new ceiling tiles currently stands at up to 82%.

The judges said: “This is really innovative – a great example of a company that has done some thinking ahead. Its material take-back and reuse in new ceilings offers both environmental and cost benefits.”


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