Saint-Gobain, through its building products subsidiary CertainTeed LLC, will install recycling technology at its gypsum plant in Palatka, Florida, increasing the recycled content in its wallboard products manufactured in Palatka by 18,000 tons/year while also reducing the site’s carbon dioxide emissions by 2,260 tons/year.
The project represents a $1.1 Million investment from CertainTeed and comes as Saint-Gobain continues to roll out its new global Grow and Impact strategy, which includes reducing waste and increasing recycling efforts at its manufacturing sites.
Gypsum wallboard is made from a gypsum slurry that is poured and dries between two sheets of paper. Some scrap materials, consisting of gypsum and paper, are normally created every time a production line is started up or shut down, or when production equipment is changed to manufacture different sizes of wallboard.
The new recycling technology in Palatka will work by grinding the waste gypsum and waste paper down into fine particles, allowing the plant to capture and internally recycle the materials, which are sorted and then reintroduced to the production process at the plant.
Today, each wallboard produced at CertainTeed’s Palatka facility includes recycled content. The upgraded technology, which the company plans to take online later this year, will increase the amount of recycled material in wallboard manufactured in Palatka.
The new equipment is powered by electricity and replaces older equipment currently powered by diesel, lowering the plant’s Scope 1 Emissions from its operations. Additionally, by consuming more recycled gypsum, the plant is less reliant on feedstock that is shipped to Palatka from external sources, allowing the site to also reduce Scope 3 Emissions associated with transporting the feedstock.
The investment in Palatka follows similar investments that will increase the recycled content of wallboard made at CertainTeed’s gypsum plants in Silver Grove, Kentucky and Nashville, Arkansas.
“In Palatka and at all of our manufacturing sites in North America, our team will continue to aggressively pursue opportunities to maximize our company’s positive impact, for our customers and the communities where we operate, while minimizing our environmental footprint,” said Jay Bachmann, Vice President and General Manager of CertainTeed Interior Products Group. “The new technology in Palatka will allow us to increase the recycled content in our products, reduce our carbon dioxide emissions at the plant, and strengthen our operations at a time of unprecedented consumer demand for gypsum wallboard in the southeastern United States.”
CertainTeed’s Palatka plant began operations in 2001 and sits on more than 100 acres of land in Putnam County. Today the plant is home to 150 employees and is one of the largest employers in Palatka, and also one of the largest gypsum plants in the southeastern United States. The plant is currently hiring for several roles in engineering and production. A complete listing of job openings at all Saint-Gobain locations, including the CertainTeed site in Palatka, can be found on the company’s website.
The investment in recycling technology in Palatka follows several other recent actions taken by the company to solidify its commitment towards sustainability:
- 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 Fairbault, 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 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.