Armstrong World Industries, the world’s largest manufacturer of acoustical ceilings, has announced a program that allows building owners to recycle their old ceiling tiles rather than dumping them in landfills.

As part of the program, the company will even pay the cost of shipping the old ceiling to its plant, which it uses as raw materials in the manufacture of new acoustical ceilings.

The program is the first of its kind to offer reclamation as an earth-friendly alternative to landfill disposal of old commercial ceilings from renovation projects.

The program involves three steps. First, building owners need to verify that their old ceiling tiles can be recycled. Neither the old nor the new replacement ceilings need to be Armstrong products to qualify for the program.

Following verification, owners must then stack their old ceiling tiles on pallets and wrap them for pick-up. More detailed information on packaging procedures is available from the company.

Once the owner has stacked and wrapped a full trailer load of old tiles, he or she simply needs to contact Armstrong. The company will then arrange for a truck to pick up the material anywhere in the continental United States and transfer it to the nearest manufacturing facility. Armstrong will pay the freight for shipment to the plant.

In a recent time analysis, the process for recycling old ceilings proved to be nearly as fast as dumping them, so the program should have little, if any, adverse impact on demolition or renovation schedules.

While a portion of new ceilings comes from the content is old scrap ceilings, the company also uses waste products from other industries. Most of that waste is in the form of old newsprint and a by-product of steel production known as "mineral wool."

Additional information on the ceiling recycling program may be obtained by calling 1-888-CEILINGS (1-888-234-5464).

(Fielding Environmental Solutions, 10/1/00)