Ever since flat screens flooded the market people have been throwing out their old cathode ray tube TVs and computer monitors in droves, resulting in a ton of electronic waste. Cathode ray tube glass is difficult to recycle and rarely used for any other applications, so Fireclay Tile is on a mission to recycle old CRT screens into shiny new tiles. After receiving CRT glass from a local recycler, Fireclay crushes it into a powder, then reforms and fires it into a variety of tile shapes in the natural CRT color, which they have named Phosphor.
Not too long ago your TV and computer monitor used CRT technology to project moving images. This glass is extremely thick and shatter-resistant, which makes it durable – but it also makes it hard to recycle and not incredibly useful for other applications. Now that there are way better screens available, everyone has dumped these old monitors leaving literally tons of the glass to waste away in landfills. Fireclay Tile tells us that there is over 600 million pounds of CRT glass in California alone just sitting there, inert.
Three years ago Fireclay Tile upgraded their computers and got rid of their old equipment, which made founder and Chief Ceramicist, Paul Burns feel bad about the waste. “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 explained. Fireclay Tile works with local e-waste recycler ECS Refining, to source the CRT glass. Then Fireclay crushes the glass into fine particles, which are placed into a tile mold, fired and melted into a new form.
The recycled tile manufacturer is currently ramping up to start production on their latest glass tile, which will be available in the natural CRT color, Phosphor, in 2×8, 2×4, and penny round mosaic sizes. But before they can offer these for sale to the general public, Fireclay needs to raise funds to pay for the new molds. Check out their Kickstarter campaign and help this green company turn a huge source of waste into a great product. Backers can get CRT glass coasters (a great stocking stuffer) or tile back splashes for their own home.
Images ©Fireclay Tile