Posts Tagged ‘waste management’

Blue Roof – A Roof Made From Sewage Products

November 21st, 2017
BlueCity Dome, Rotterdam

BlueCity Dome

In Rotterdam, BlueCity is a Circular Economy incubator for companies developing technologies that create products from waste. So far they have about 12 companies that are working within their facilities – which are located in a defunct indoor tropical swimming centre called Tropicana. Instead of tearing down the building, this group has gone in to give it a second life. In terms of the kinds of businesses they have been incubating, here is how they explain it:

The entrepreneurs located in BlueCity all connect their waste-streams in different ways.  The coffee-waste that is produced by Aloha Bar-Restaurant serves as nutritious soil for the mushrooms of RotterZwam. The carbon dioxide that is released in the process is used by Spireaux for the creation of Spirulina, and in BlueCity Lab mycelium is used to develop packaging materials. Of course, to complete this perfect circle, you will ultimately find the mushrooms that grew on the coffee waste of Aloha on the menu of the same restaurant. [source]

They recently launched the BlueCity Circular Challenge in which they challenged multi-disciplinary teams of students and young professionals to come up with solutions to some chronic waste problems. Four companies offered up their waste streams to see if the teams could come up with a marketable product from the waste.  The waste streams were:

  • disposable coffee cups,
  • the filtered-out waste from sewage treatment plants (ie., sanitary products and flushable wipes, etc… – stuff that isn’t even supposed to go into the sewage system but ends up there anyway),
  • electric meters made out of Bakelite,
  • the horticultural business left if up to the team to decide which waste stream to address.

The winner was the team that took the filtered-out waste and turned it into a substrate for green roofs. It turns out that all those products (sanitary napkins, tampons, wipes…) are also highly absorbent, meaning they can soak up a lot of liquid. That makes them a great starting product for a green roof base because they can hold enough water to help get the plants going and can absorb rain really well while diverting rain from the sewer system. The idea is to sterilize, dry and compress the waste into tiles, and then use it in green roofs as a substrate. The team won €5,000 and a place at BlueCity to further explore their idea.

For more on the BlueCity Circulars, visit the BlueCity website (although it’s mostly in Dutch, there are several English blog posts, including the one featuring the four waste challenges):

::via Materia

Crossville Tile’s New Porcelain Tile with Recycled Content

January 16th, 2012

I’ve written about Crossville Tile’s recent waste reduction efforts, as well as the benefits of using porcelain tile. In a nutshell, the company now incorporates ceramic waste material into every one of its tiles. Each tile contains 4% pre-consumer recycled ceramic supplied by TOTO. It’s fired waste that would otherwise end up in landfill — seconds that can’t be sold. But beyond that, Crossville has a few product lines that contain higher levels of recycled content which consists of fired waste (ie., porcelain tiles that didn’t fire properly in the kiln and can’t be sold), leftover sludge from rinsing and cleaning the raw material, and post-consumer tiles from Crossville Tile’s “Tile Take Back” Program.

Below are three of the lines Crossville Tile has just launched including sizes, styles and recycled content:

Bluestone Porcelain Tile in Vermont Black

Bluestone Porcelain Tile contains a minimum of 20 percent recycled content and is manufactured in Crossville using processes that have been certified by Scientific Certification Systems.  It’s available in four colorways – Colorado Buff, Arizona Brown, Pennsylvania Blue and Vermont Black – and a variety of sizes:  24″ x 24″, 12″ x 24″, 6″ x 24″, 12″ x 12″ and 6″ x 6″ field tile; 2″ x 2″ (natural only) and 3″ x 6″ (honed) Mosaics; and Random Mosaics using 2″, 4″ and 6″ tile with staggered joints.  Single Bullnose, Universal Cove Base, and Cove Base Left and Right trim pieces complement the collection.

Inspired by the natural stone from which it derives its name, Bluestone by Crossville features a field of soft earthen tones, enhanced by fossil-like impressions and the subtle pearlescence of embedded shells.  In both natural and honed finishes, Bluestone Porcelain Stone® tile imparts a classic, time-honored elegance to any space.   

Bluestone porcelain tile is suitable for either residential or commercial use.

Mainstreet Porcelain Tile: Contains between 4-20% pre and post-consumer waste. The darker the colour, the higher the recycled content.

Available in five colors – Cinema Champagne, Café Caramel, Bistro Brown, Gallery Grey and Boutique Black, Main Street also comes in a variety of sizes: 18″x18″, 6″x18″, 12″x12″, 6″x6″ field tile, and 2″x2″ mosaics mesh-mounted on 12″x12″ sheets.  Single Bullnose and Cove Base trim complement the collection.

…Main Street [is] a contemporary, city-inspired Porcelain Stone® line that promises to be a favorite among contract designers and specifiers with its neutral color palette, subtle stone look, high COF and ease of maintenance.  

Mixology with Mainstreet -- porcelain tile and metal tiles with recycled content

Mixology Metal Tile:

Crossville®is introducing Mixology: a new metal line that’s been painstakingly crafted by Crossville artisans to replicate cast metal sculptural pieces as affordable and earth-friendly tile.  Each of the exquisitely wrought metal tiles contains a minimum of 50-percent certified* post-consumer recycled content, making the line not only an attractive choice, but the responsible choice for our environment. (*Certified by Scientific Certification Systems.) 

Seven field tile designs in two sizes – 4 x 4 and 6x 6“, plus 10 trim options and two random mosaics are available in four distinctive finishes, providing 98 pieces to “mix” and match for commercial or residential installations.  Crossville’s new Mixology and Match interactive design tool is available at

Mixology was designed for interior wall applications including:  molding, ceiling trim, chair rails, window and door borders, countertop edging, backsplashes, showers and other wet interior wall areas, fireplace surrounds, etc.  All tile and trim coated to maintain a durable, low maintenance finish.  Much more cost-effective and much lighter than solid metal, these tiles cut and install like porcelain or ceramic tile.

Crossville Tile products are available throughout Canada and the US through tile showrooms. For more information on the company’s overall waste management efforts, read this post.


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