Crushing the Way Toward Zero Landfill Certification
One of ceramic tile’s major selling points is its durability, but that advantage can be an issue when it comes to disposing of waste. For the team at the Monterrey (Mexico) Floor tile plant, one of their biggest challenges to becoming Zero Landfill-certified this summer was finding a way to recycle their fired waste.
“Fired waste is scrap that is left over after tiles go through the kiln and don’t meet our high quality standards because of things like being the wrong shade or being chipped,” Director of Environmental, Health & Sustainability Bob Hurt said. “Our Manufacturing teams are exceptional at limiting fired waste, but it does occur. Monterrey Floor had no way to recycle or reuse these pieces, so they had been going to the landfill and making up a large percentage of their overall waste.”
To recycle the scraps, the team purchased and installed a new raw materials crusher that could process the high density of the tiles. Thanks to this machine, not only have they drastically cut their landfill waste, they are now able to break down those scraps and use the materials to go back into the manufacturing process to make new tiles.
“Through the fire waste recycling and other sustainable efforts the team took, they were able to save approximately $415,000 in the past year by diverting waste from the landfill,” Director of Process Excellence Jesse Hamilton said. “It can be difficult to find solutions for some of the different manufacturing wastes, but the team here was very engaged in reaching this certification goal.”
On top of the fired waste reduction, the team was able to reduce oil usage by 30 percent, set up an efficient system to capture and continuously monitor management data for both their process wastes and recyclable materials, and introduce a training program to educate team members on the new practices.
To become Zero Landfill certified, a facility must recycle and/or reuse at least 90 percent or more of its manufacturing process waste. The trash in bathrooms and breakrooms doesn’t count towards this percentage, but the Monterrey Floor team is recycling items in those areas as well. Additionally, the certification also requires that one percent or less of incoming materials are disposed as waste in landfills.
With this achievement, Monterrey Floor is the seventh Daltile manufacturing plant to receive its Zero Landfill certification, joining El Paso, Texas; Muskogee, Okla.; Fayette, Ala.; Lewisport, Ky. and two other Monterrey plants, the Frits and Refractories operations.
Hurt (holding certificate at right) presented the Zero Landfill certification to Monterrey Floor Plant Manager, Pedro Aguilar and his team.