According to a recent North American Insulation Manufacturers Association (NAIMA) survey of its member companies, the amount of recycled glass and blast furnace slag used in the manufacture of fiber glass and slag wool insulation in 2002 was almost 2 billion pounds.This brings the total to almost 22 billion pounds since the industry first began an aggressive recycling program more than a decade ago.
Recycled glass used in the manufacture of fiber glass insulation now constitutes the second highest volume of post-consumer glass. Recycled glass melts at lower temperatures than raw materials, allowing manufacturers to use less energy to manufacture fiber glass insulation. Recycled blast furnace slag accounts for approximately 6 percent of the material that might otherwise end up in landfills. By using recycled materials in their finished products, NAIMA members are using less energy, are less dependent on natural resources, reduce the amount of emissions into the atmosphere and reduce materials from the waste stream.
NAIMA and its members also look beyond the use of recycled material to ensure their products are environmentally preferable. NAIMA member products are made with renewable resources and are inherently fire retardant, therefore eliminating the need of many products to add hazardous fire retardants. Fiber glass and slag wool insulations also promote sustainable development by lasting the life of a building. A typical pound of fiber glass, rock wool or slag wool insulation will save more than 12 times the amount of energy used to produce in the first year alone.