With everyone who can afford to turning to fl at screen technology to replace their old TVs and monitors, there’s an abundance of old cathode ray tube (CRT) glass hitting the e-waste stream, and a dearth of ways to put it back into service. But an innovative ceramic tile company that focuses on the use of recycled materials in their products has a great idea for recycled CRT glass, giving it a second life as a sustainable interior design element.
Paul Burns, founder and Chief Ceramicist at Fireclay Tile, found himself wonderingwhat became of these obsolete monitors and TVs, which eventually led him on a three year journey to fi nd a viable use for CRT glass. “About two or three years ago my business partner replaced all our old computers, and I started to wonder, what happens to all those old monitors. Well, I found out they’re piled up all over the place. I decided, why don’t I try to make tile out of this old computer screen.” – Burns
Fireclay Tile already produced decorative and architectural tiles from recycled materials and unprocessed stoneware clays, so turning to CRT glass as a potential material wasn’t so much of a stretch, at least conceptually. However, developing a process to get the glass from monitor to fi nished tile wasn’t without challenges, including the need to enlist an electronics recycler to remove the glass panels from their housing in order to start the process of crushing and sorting the material.
The fi nished tiles aren’t colored, but rather their natural gray tone, which Fireclay has dubbed Phosphor, and the new tiles will be available in 2×8, 2×4, and penny-round mosaic sizes. According to Fireclay, these recycled tiles can be used for both indoor and outdoor installations, including commercial jobs, and could be the perfect accent in an eco home remodel.