Owens Corning is one of the largest users of recycled glass in the world, using over 1 billion pounds annually of curbside consumer containers and pre-consumer recycled glass.
It only takes a six pack of beer bottles or one wine bottle to insulate a standard 16” on center 8’ cavity.
Not only does this decrease community landfill waste, but it also lowers our energy use when manufacturing insulation, since starting with raw materials such as sand requires more energy. In addition, we’re the first roofing manufacturer to establish a program for recycling shingles.
When it comes to using recycled glass content in our insulation, we use as much as we can get. Through the years, we have increased our use of recycled glass, working in collaboration with municipalities and partners throughout the supply chain to increase recycled glass collection and processing. However, looking forward, we are finding that demand is higher than supply, and still three quarters of today’s glass waste is being landfilled. This is a problem we would like to solve.
- Our light density fiberglass insulation is certified to have a minimum of 53% recycled content and in some areas we have as much as 73%, while continuing to provide the same energy-saving performance our customers expect.
- Foamular® extruded polystyrene insulation products use a minimum of 20% recycled content, using waste from various foam manufacturing operations.
Both product lines are certified by Scientific Certification Systems for recycled content, providing building professionals documentation that these products can contribute to meeting green building guidelines such as LEED® certification.
- Thermafiber® mineral wool insulation has a minimum 70% recycled content and is validated by ICC Evaluation Services.
- Other Owens Corning® products, including roofing products, have recycled content dependent on where they are produced. Contact 1-800-GET-PINK® for more information on recycled content in any of our products.
Owens Corning Roofing and Asphalt LLC is the first roofing manufacturer to establish a program for recycling shingles. We connect contractors with convenient recycling facilities through a national strategic alliance with Earth911.com and Heritage Environmental Services.
As part of this groundbreaking program, contractors take the Preferred Contractor Shingle Recycling Pledge, committing to recycle their shingle tear-offs. Currently there are 109 major cities with recycling locations. Sixty five percent of the United States population is covered by these locations allowing us to add the label “Shingles are Recyclable.”
Homeowners can also commit to recycling by taking their version of the Shingle Recycling Pledge and selecting a contractor who recycles shingles from Owens Corning’s contractor locator page.
In 2014, approximately 1.2 million tons were recycled, bringing our total since program inception to 2.9 million tons of shingles recycled through our Shingle Recycling Network, the equivalent of over approximately 950,000 roofs. Every recycled roof is comparable to recycling more than 100 percent of a year’s worth of household waste. The recycled shingles provide oil in the form of asphalt for beneficial reuse typically in paving.
Giving Glass a Second Life
It has been 5 years since Owens Corning and Boulevard Brewery in Kansas City, Missouri, U.S., created what some call America’s first self-contained metropolitan recycling system. The brewery was looking for ways to recycle its glass bottles, and the nearby Owens Corning plant in Kansas City, Kansas, U.S., was seeking ways to increase its use of recycled glass. Meanwhile there was no glass recycling program for local residents.
With the help of Owens Corning, Boulevard Brewery opened Ripple Glass, a state-of-the-art processing facility for glass recycling and reclamation. Residents drop off their jars and bottles at 60 locations around the city. Ripple collects, sorts and crushes the glass, and then ships it to Owens Corning to be melted and spun into fiberglass insulation.
The result is a win-win for the community and the environment. Ripple celebrated the recycling of its 100,000th ton of glass during 2014.