You’re the socially-responsible sort. You’ve been reducing and reusing wherever possible, and you’ve even made sure your old house or apartment has a low-flow toilet. What happens to that high-flow toilet? I mean, it’s fantastic that you’ve swapped it out, but what in the world happens to the old one? You don’t really want someone installing it in a different home. Because then ultimately you haven’t reduced anything at all – you’ve merely shifted the problem onto someone else. Oh sure, you could put it in the yard as a planter. Which isn't terribly helpful for folks swapping out toilets from apartments.
Fireclay Tile* is a northern California company that recycles glass, ceramic tile & porcelain fixtures. Fireclay Tile not only reuses the ceramics and glass, but they try to keep their business green throughout. They use locally-sourced materials, they use lead-free glaze, many of their products count towards LEED points, and all of their products are made and finished in the US. On top of this, they recycle glass from bottles and windows and doors into glass tiles, aluminum cans in to aluminum backsplashes, and the dust from a nearby rock quarry into their ceramic manufacturing process. Seriously! They incorporate even the dust into their finished products! According to Fireclay Tile, they recycle their “kiln heat, water, and all manufacturing waste that is then re-used in other parts of our business”. They even offer workshops for creating art with tile and glass pieces.
Recently, NPR did a story on Fireclay Tile, which you can find here.
Recycling porcelain from the Zanker Road recycling center in San Jose
According to Fireclay Tile, through their work with the Zanker Road recycling center, and Recology**, they’ve “removed over 17 containers, or 150 tons of waste porcelain from the waste stream.” How awesome is that?
*And once again, I have no ties to this business. I just like sharing info about businesses making true efforts to reuse consumer materials, and reduce waste in the production processes.
**You might remember seeing Recology in a previous TMR post about one of the Master Recycler program field trips. Recology operates the Metro Central transfer station in Portland, OR