Saint-Gobain launches wallboard reclaiming program

Saint-Gobain North America has begun reclaiming waste gypsum wallboard at its Buchanan, New York, facility and reusing the waste as feedstock for new product.

The closed-loop project, hosted at subsidiary CertainTeed Gypsum, the only gypsum wallboard manufacturing site in the state of New York, comes as Saint-Gobain rolls out a strategy aimed at achieving a net zero carbon footprint by 2050.

The initiative was launched in collaboration with Cooper Recycling and Structure Tone and facilitated by Lendlease. The gypsum waste was separated and collected at the Structure Tone construction site, processed at the Cooper Recycling facility, and then reclaimed at the Buchanan plant creating new drywall. The process prevented 20 tons of gypsum waste from going to landfill.

“For us to achieve our sustainability goals, we must change the way we think. By partnering with organizations in the community like Cooper Recycling and Structure Tone we can get there faster,” said Jay Bachmann, Vice President and General Manager for CertainTeed Interior Products Group.

“Our Buchanan plant has increased our capacity to reuse recycled material and we look forward to growing this successful pilot into a long-term program while working with builders and recyclers across the state. Partnering with CertainTeed, New York builders have the opportunity to not only reduce waste at their job sites but also gain LEED points on their projects.”

“Lendlease is working toward our Absolute Zero Carbon by 2040 target in part by reducing scope 3 embodied carbon supply chain emissions. Diverting our job site-generated clean drywall trim scrap into regional reuse and purchasing new drywall with higher post-consumer recycled content aids in reducing embodied carbon emissions and increasing resource circularity,” said Amanda Kaminsky, Lendlease, Director of Sustainable Construction.

“We were happy to introduce Saint-Gobain to local recycling infrastructure to facilitate reclaiming more of New York City’s scrap gypsum resources.”

The launch of the circular economy project in Buchanan follows several other recent actions taken by the company to solidify its commitment towards sustainability. In September, the company announced it will save two million gallons of water per year at its CertainTeed Social Circle, Georgia siding plant after installing a smart water meter system and upgrading manufacturing equipment

In August, the company announced its intent to install equipment at its Palatka, Florida gypsum plant that will increase the recycled content in its wallboard products by 18,000 tons/year while also reducing the site’s carbon dioxide emissions by 2,260 tons/year.

In July, Saint-Gobain announced the upgrade of key equipment at its Buchanan, New York gypsum plant, saving nearly 700,000 kWh of electricity per year and also reducing the plant’s greenhouse gas emissions.

In June, Saint-Gobain announced a $91 Million CAD investment in its gypsum plant in Montreal, creating the first zero-carbon manufacturing site for wallboard in North America and increasing the plant’s production capacity by 40%.

In May, Saint-Gobain announced its newly installed recycling technology at its gypsum wallboard plant in Nashville, Arkansas would save 65,000 tons of material per year from landfill.

In April, Saint-Gobain entered into a recycling partnership at its SageGlass electrochromic glass production site in Faribault, Minnesota, saving 1,000 tons of material per year from landfill over the next five years.

In March, Saint-Gobain North America announced it would install heat recovery technology at its CertainTeed gypsum manufacturing site in Vancouver, British Columbia, which will reduce the plant’s carbon dioxide emissions by 10% and improve its energy efficiency.

Also in March, Saint-Gobain announced that through its virtual Power Purchase Agreement with the Blooming Grove Wind Farm in McLean County, Illinois, and additional renewables contracting, the company received renewable energy certificates that effectively reduced approximately 33% of its CO2 emissions from electricity usage in 2021 in the United States and Canada.

In February, the company invested $32 Million to upgrade equipment at its CertainTeed insulation plant in Chowchilla, California, reducing the facility’s carbon footprint by more than 4,000 metric tons per year.

In January, Saint-Gobain North America donated a zero energy-ready house in Canton, Ohio, made with more than 20 of its own products, to Habitat for Humanity.