Saint-Gobain, through its building products subsidiary CertainTeed, today announced the company has installed recycling technology at its gypsum wallboard plant in Silver Grove, Kentucky, which will allow the plant to recycle and reuse 15,000 tons of paper per year that otherwise would have been sent to a landfill. The ambitious project comes only months after the company announced its new global Grow and Impact strategy, which includes reducing waste and increasing the circularity of raw materials at its manufacturing sites.
CertainTeed’s facility in Silver Grove is the largest gypsum wallboard plant in North America and one of the largest in the world. The plant, which sits on 200 acres of land, started up operations in 2000 and today is home to 270 employees.
Gypsum wallboard is made from a gypsum slurry that is poured and dries between two sheets of paper. Some scrap material, consisting of gypsum and paper, is normally created every time a production line is started up or shut down, or when production equipment is changed to manufacture different sizes of wallboard. CertainTeed is able to capture and recycle most of the gypsum in this scrap material at all of its gypsum plants, including Silver Grove. But the scrap paper created in this process could not be recycled through traditional means, because the paper was coated in gypsum.
The new recycling technology in Silver Grove works by grinding the waste gypsum and waste paper down into finer particles, allowing the plant to capture and internally recycle both the gypsum particles and the paper particles, which are sorted and then reintroduced to the production process at the plant.
“This project allows us to reduce our waste and reduce our production costs in Silver Grove, while also empowering us to increase the efficiency of our use of natural resources,” said Jay Bachmann, Vice President and General Manager of CertainTeed Gypsum. “We will continue to look for ways to minimize our environmental footprint while maximizing our company’s positive impact for our customers and the communities where we do business.”
More than 15 CertainTeed professionals in the company’s engineering, operations and sustainability teams worked for a year and a half to bring this project to fruition, and CertainTeed invested $850,000 in the new recycling equipment. The company is now exploring opportunities to introduce similar recycling technology at some of its other gypsum wallboard plants in North America.
The recycling project in Silver Grove follows several major investments in environmental sustainability made this year by CertainTeed:
- In January, the company’s 12-year power purchase agreement for 120 megawatts of renewable energy from a wind farm in McLean County, Illinois went online.
- In August, the company launched “Sustaining Futures, Raising Communities,” a program that will bring more sustainable construction to neighborhoods across North America.
- In September, the company announced its intent to build a new gypsum logistics facility that will be integrated into the remediation of a vacant Superfund site along the St. Johns River.
- In October, the company installed recycling technology at its insulation plant in Kansas City, Kansas, that will reduce its water consumption by 227 million gallons per year.
- In November, the company announced its intent to install solar panels at its manufacturing sites in Berlin and Wayne, New Jersey, to support the ambitious sustainability efforts of the state’s electrical grid.
Through the responsible development of innovative and sustainable building products, CertainTeed, headquartered in Malvern, Pennsylvania, has helped shape the building products industry for more than 115 years. Founded in 1904 as General Roofing Manufacturing Company, the firm’s slogan “Quality Made Certain, Satisfaction Guaranteed,” inspired the name CertainTeed. Today, CertainTeed is a leading North American brand of exterior and interior building products, including roofing, siding, solar, fence, railing, trim, insulation, drywall and ceilings. www.certainteed.com.
Saint-Gobain designs, manufactures and distributes materials and solutions for the construction, mobility, healthcare and other industrial application markets. Developed through a continuous innovation process, they can be found everywhere in our living places and daily life, providing wellbeing, performance and safety, while addressing the challenges of sustainable construction, resource efficiency and the fight against climate change.
This strategy of responsible growth is guided by the Saint-Gobain purpose, “MAKING THE WORLD A BETTER HOME,” which responds to the shared ambition of all the women and men in the Group to act every day to make the world a more beautiful and sustainable place to live in.
€38.1 billion in sales in 2020
More than 167,000 employees, located in 70 countries
Committed to achieving Carbon Neutrality by 2050
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