Fireclay Tile, a sustainable California manufacturer of ceramic tile, says its Debris Series Recycled Tile will now feature over 70% recycled materials with the addition of landfill-bound recycled porcelain.
Working closely with the San Francisco and San Jose city recyclers, Fireclay Tile says it will initially offset the landfill of over 150 tons of porcelain waste, which the company will grind into fine dust to reincorporate into its ceramic tile. Fireclay Tile has been incorporating similar local Bay Area recycled materials into its custom handmade ceramic tile for the past 15 years including recycled waste glass, recycled waste granite dust, and spent abrasive materials.
"I'm a scavenger by nature. I guess it's just part of my DNA. Ever since I was young I loved taking things, mixing them together, and seeing what I could create," said Paul Burns, Fireclay's founder and chief ceramicist. "For the past 15 years my mission at Fireclay has been to maintain the beauty and high quality of our ceramic tile while offsetting local Bay Area waste materials. When I first started approaching people to see if I could purchase their waste materials they thought I was crazy. Now that we have demonstrated success, those conversations have become easier."
The Debris Series and Express Series, will soon be featuring over 70% locally sourced recycled materials. These materials include recycled waste glass made up of bag-house dust collected from Strategic Materials in San Leandro, recycled granite dust from Granite Rock, recycled spent abrasives leftover from cleaning the Hetch Hetchy water pipes that transport water to the City of San Francisco from Yosemite Valley, and now recycled porcelain from San Francisco and San Jose. All products are handmade within its day-lit, open air factory where the company reuses everything including clays, glazes and waste water.
"It's fantastic to see California small business and local municipalities working together to tackle big issues," said Eric Edelson, Fireclay's vp. "Not only should we demand all companies take these types of earth-smart steps, but the more consumers see companies being successful in doing it, the more they will require it. LEED building code is one step toward this, but ultimately it will be up to individual purchasers to really force companies to take steps to manufacture locally using environmentally friendly techniques and materials."
The company hopes to establish similar partnerships with Oakland, Santa Cruz, Los Angeles, and any other interested California waste municipality.