As a leading worldwide provider of health services, Aetna Inc. is uniquely aware of the environment and its effect on the
earth's inhabitants. That's one reason why it recently recycled 60,000 square feet (approximately 30 tons) of old acoustical
ceiling panels rather than dumping them in a landfill.
Headquartered in Hartford, Aetna decided to transform its nearby Windsor, Connecticut office facility into a call center.
The 180,000-square-foot project was scheduled to be completed in phases, with the first phase comprising about 60,000 square
feet of office space. As part of the renovation, contractors were to remove all existing acoustical ceiling panels and replace
them with new panels.
In a renovation project of this type, old suspended ceiling panels would normally be removed, thrown into a dumpster, and
eventually taken to a landfill for disposal. This project, however, was different.
When Aetna's facility management team learned of the Ceiling Recycling Program offered by Armstrong World Industries, they
believed it was the way to go. By providing a means of recycling discarded ceiling panels rather then sending them to a landfill,
the program fit well into the company's own environmental strategies.
The program itself enables building owners to quickly and easily ship old ceilings from renovation projects to an Armstrong
ceiling plant as an alternative to harmful landfill disposal. Under the program, Armstrong even pays freight costs for shipping
the old ceilings, which it uses as raw materials in the manufacture of new, high-performance acoustical ceilings.
The program involves three steps. First, building owners need to verify that their old ceiling tiles can be recycled. Neither
the old nor the new replacement ceilings need to be Armstrong products to qualify for the program. At Aetna, the existing
non-foil-backed ceiling panels were found to be recyclable and therefore eligible for the program.
Following verification, owners must then stack their old ceiling tiles on pallets and wrap them for pick-up. Once there is
a full trailer load of old ceilings, the owner simply contacts Armstrong. The company will then work with the owner to arrange
for a truck to pick up the material anywhere in the continental United States and transfer it to its nearest manufacturing
In a recent time analysis, the process for recycling old ceilings proved to be nearly as fast as dumping them, so the program
has little, if any, adverse impact on larger demolition schedules. It can also be less expensive than the cost of local handling,
transport, dumpster and landfill fees.
To obtain additional information on the Armstrong Ceiling Recycling Program call 1-877-ARMSTRONG (1-877-276-7876) or visit
www.armstrong.com on the Internet for complete product information.