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Boise Tile Maker Earns Major EPA Award

Release Date: 8/21/2002
Contact Information: Bob Drake
(206) 553-4803

August 21, 2002

Sandhill Industries , a Boise-based manufacturer of decorative tile, has received the prestigious Evergreen Award from the Northwest regional office of the Environmental Protection Agency. The company earned the award for pioneering a new, energy efficient production process that uses recycled glass instead of virgin materials.

The new process dramatically increases the environmental friendliness of tile production.

Sandhill’s new process allows the company to use less than one-half of the energy used to make similar products and generates no CO2 emissions.** The National Institute of Standards and Technology estimates that the manufacture of portland cement, which is used in most tile products, generates about one pound of CO2 emissions for each pound of cement produced.

Sandhill's tile manufacturing process uses post-industrial recycled glass, traditionally a waste without recycling options in the Pacific Northwest. Over the past 12 months Sandhill used over 50,000 pounds of recycled glass. Sandhill's outdoor pavers, which will be available for commercial sale beginning in 2003, will use mixed-color, post-consumer glass. This glass typically poses a problem for recyclers throughout the country, with millions of tons in surplus.

EPA’s Evergreen Award recognizes outstanding pollution prevention efforts within all sectors of the greater Pacific Northwest business community.

** Energy consumption for the manufacture of ceramic tile is estimated by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), on average, at about 1,800 Btu per pound of finished tile. Sandhill uses less than 750 Btu per pound of finished tile. Based on the NIST figures in the past 12 months Sandhill consumed about 60 million Btu less energy than a comparable ceramic tile producer.