For the first time, this survey includes data from both US and Canadian manufacturing facilities.
According to the 2004 usage survey, NAIMA and NAIMA Canada members together utilized more than 2.2 billion pounds of recycled post consumer glass and blast furnace slag in the manufacturing process of thermal and acoustical insulation. This is the equivalent of filling a football field plus the end zones to a depth of more than 518 feet. Manufacturers in the United States increased use of recycled materials by 12 percent over 2003 and 17 percent since 1992. Over the past 12 years, NAIMA members' US plants have diverted nearly 26 billion pounds of recyclable materials from the waste stream.
"Our members continue to take steps to employ environmentally friendly activities at all levels of production - from the initial use of recycled materials in the manufacturing process to the end product," said Ken Mentzer, president and CEO of NAIMA. "Fiber glass and rock and slag wool insulations are some of the best choices available for residential and commercial green building."
While NAIMA Canada members have used recycled materials for many years, this was the first year it was measured in NAIMA's annual survey. Canadian facilities used more than 321 million pounds of recycled glass and more than 61 million pounds of slag to the manufacturing of thermal and acoustical insulation products. US facilities used almost 1.2 billion pounds of recycled glass and nearly 670 million pounds of slag to produce fiber glass and slag wool insulation products.
Fiber glass insulation is manufactured using a combination of recycled glass, up to 40 percent depending on the manufacturer and the specific plant, as well as the base material of glass, which is sand. Sand, due to the fact that it is constantly being produced through wind, erosion and other natural forces, is a rapidly renewable and widely available resource.
Slag wool insulation is manufactured from blast furnace slag, which is a byproduct of steel manufacturing. This secondary material would be sent to the landfill if not for its reclamation by manufacturers of products like slag wool insulation and rock wool insulation which also uses some slag material.