Joe Cilia, FIS Technical Director, reminds members that recycling mineral wool ceiling tiles is easier than you may think.

Each year, about 20million ft² of ceilings are installed in the UK. More than 70% of those are mineral wool ceiling tiles, So, what happens to them at end of life and what can be done with all those off-cuts generated during the installation phase?

Like steel, gypsum, aluminium and timber used in ceilings, ‘mineral wool’ can be recycled back into mineral ceiling tiles, and as more refurbishment and new build projects record what happens to waste, the recycling of mineral wool ceiling tiles has come to the forefront, helping to meet these targets.

Waste is generated as old ceilings are stripped out as part of a refurbishment and as off-cuts during installation as the perimeter tiles are cut to balance the ceiling and fit the building’s shape and deviations, it’s at both these stages that, with planning,
the waste can palletised, collected and recycled into new tiles.

Send it back
In the case of a refurbishment, once the original manufacturer and date of manufacture is established by looking at the back of the tiles and the m² established, the manufacturer should be contacted; most have ‘recycle@manufacturer.XX’ as an email address or searching their website will take you to the specialist managing the process. For new installations you should talk to suppliers at an early stage to establish what process they have in place to take back clean, bagged offcuts (crucially, without  other site waste and coke cans).

More information about the Resource Efficiency Action Plan for Ceilings produced by the Ceiling Sustainability Partnership is available here.