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Outstanding Achievement in Recycling-Private Sector: Wausau Tile, Inc.


AROW's Outstanding Achievement in Recycling Award is given to an individual or a group that has excelled in their recycling program. This year's recipient is Wausau Tile, Inc. Wausau Tile recognizes that being "green" is not only good for the environment, but is also good for its bottom line. Over the course of the past several years it has introduced a wide variety of processes and activities that are environmentally friendly in both facility operations and in the manufacturing process.

Wausau Tile believes it can meet the highest standards of quality, while continuing to be a leader in conserving, recycling and reusing precious materials and resources. In 2012 Wausau Tile began a new line of products called EcoPremier. This line of products contains recycled porcelain and replaces virgin aggregate. With 43% recycled content, by weight, the EcoPremier line used over 1.3 million pounds of recycled porcelain seconds. Additionally, Wausau Tile is always looking at finding ways to use materials that might otherwise end up in landfills.

Annually, Wausau Tile uses over a million pounds of recycled glass aggregate in many of its products (up to 56% recycled glass content by weight), reduces the amount of cement needed in production by using fly ash, utilizes foundry slag as an aggregate and finds novels ways to use recycled steel in its broad line of outdoor products. In 2012 (most recent information publicly available), Wausau Tile avoided sending nearly 14,000 tons of materials to landfills by:

  • Recycling 59,489 pounds of plastic banding, cardboard, paper and aluminum
  • Recycling 135,760 pounds of scrap steel and banding
  • Recycling 13,936 pounds of excess packaging foam
  • Recycling 142,768 pounds wood and wood pallets
  • Recycling 27,538,613 pounds of concrete waste
  • Recycling 32,295 pounds of plastic
  • And, recycling 71,480,876 gallons of water (with a state of the art water recycling system, on average Wausau Tile uses a gallon of water 8 times)

Wausau Tile is proud of their recycling and waste reduction program. They keep close monthly tally on each pound of material managed through their system, continually exploring new ways to use seeming waste products. They engage their staff in examining systems and embrace novel ideas developed throughout their company.

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