Bridgette Meinhold

Fireclay Tile Turns Old CRT TVs & Monitors into Stunning Recycled Glass Tiles

by , 11/19/13

CRT Tile, Fireclay Tile, recycled glass tile, recycled tile, cathode ray tube, crt glass, recycled materials

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.

+ Fireclay Tile

Images ©Fireclay Tile

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2 Comments

  1. Fireclay Tile November 20, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    Hi Evandr5137,

    This is a good comment & a question that has popped up a few times since our launch. We have had our glass thoroughly analyzed and completed a tell all test. The test was comprised of putting the glass in a bath of hydrochloric acid and then inspected for lead content; test results came back with no lead in our glass.

    The reason there is no lead in our tile is because we are working with ECS recycling (see CRT cleaning process here: http://www.ecsrefining.com/services-and-markets/products-and-services/crt-recycling). They collect the screens and slice off the front 3/4″. The lead and other toxic materials are found in the back section of the panel. So, as we are recycling the front of the TV and computer monitors, there is little or no harmful material getting into our CRT glass content.

    We submitted all documentation to the State toxicologists (DTSC) and were advised that it is ok to make glass tiles from the front panel of the screen.

    Please let us know if you have other concerns and we will try to answer your questions the best of our ability and knowledge.

    Thank you!
    Fireclay Tile

  2. Evandr5137 November 19, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    This is a HORRIBLE idea!!! This is leaded glass that they are trying to reuse. Of course it\’s hard to recycle and process. There are only a few places in the worlds that process it safely. I am all about reuse & recycling, but this not good item to try and reuse.

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