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How "GREEN" is it?
Last Post 24 Jun 2009 05:26 PM by Andy Graves. 15 Replies.
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Andy Graves


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16 Jun 2009 05:57 PM
    So I was thinking about Vetrazzo and Icestone and wondered about how green the material is.  From my understanding, cement is not so environmentally friendly because of the energy needed to make it.

    Glass is made from sand and before it goes into a landfill, it is broken into small pieces.  It doesn't off gas and for the most part, over time, gets broken down into smaller pieces.

    My question is, where is the green savings?  You have cement mixed with a product that really doesn't need to be recycled.

    Am I way off base here or is there something I don't understand?
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    Steve Mehan
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    17 Jun 2009 07:25 AM
    Andy,

    I've often thought that myself. A few years back I made some solid surface countertops for a stone quarry and cement plant. It is an open pit mine where they blast the limestone from the rock faced walls. Huge front end loaders scoop up the stone and then place the stone on conveyors where it is taken to be crushed then heated and many more steps before you have a finished product. LARGE amounts of electricity is needed for this process. Not to mention the cost of the heavy equiptment and the use of diesel fuel.
    Cement manufacturing causes environmental impacts at all stages of the process. The emissions of airborne pollution in the form of dust, gases, noise and vibration when operating machinery and during blasting. The plant is constantly under critisism from people who consider quarries to be eyesores and are required to have various abatement methods to address problems.
    This is all just for the cement part of the product.
    Personally I do not have any problems with what is needed for this process. But I would'nt say it's green.
    I believe people who buy green really cant explain whats green about it.They just think there doing the right thing because there told it's green.
    Trying to sell these products as being green is very misleading. It is for marketing and that means more money. As soon as something is labeled green, WOW the price just went up.
    Linda Graves
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    17 Jun 2009 03:49 PM

    I was wondering why many of our "green" customers have one arm longer than the other.  It seems to be from patting themselves on the back. 
    That also makes it easier to reach their wallet.

    Linda
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    Jon Olson
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    17 Jun 2009 09:09 PM
    I think the value is the reusable glass.  Also some cement I believe is made using the fly ash that's left from burning coal. Usually fly ash is dumped into our oceans.
     
     
    Andy Graves


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    17 Jun 2009 11:56 PM
    Do they use fly ash in Vetrazzo and Icestone? Also, what is the harm in putting crushed glass in a landfill? It is not a contaminate, it just sits there.
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    Steve Mehan
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    18 Jun 2009 12:07 AM
    Yes Jon you are correct in that some of these surfaces do use fly ash in there cement. Which as you said is a by product of burning coal and contains significant amounts environmental toxins. They say once it's locked into concrete it's safe and it very well might be. This type of cement used for the purpose of countertops has been given the name syndecrete. Which to the homeowner means more money, and there told they just have to have it.
    When a rep for vetrazzo stopped into see me he had explained that when you received your slab of vetrazzo, lets say Cobalt Skyy. That I would also get certificate of some sort with the story behind this countertop talking about the Skyy Vodka bottle they used in it.
    Oh!!!   I said this must be good for the environment.
    He laughed.
    Brian Stone
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    18 Jun 2009 01:49 PM
    Posted By Andy on 17 Jun 2009 05:56 PM
    Do they use fly ash in Vetrazzo and Icestone? Also, what is the harm in putting crushed glass in a landfill? It is not a contaminate, it just sits there.

    That's the problem...it just sits there. Taking up space for decades.

    Just because something doesn't directly harm the environment, it doesn't mean that you should just throw it away.
    Andy Graves


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    18 Jun 2009 07:25 PM
    Sand is created because larger stones are being broken down into smaller pieces. Won't that happen with the larger pieces of glass?

    Think of the process to save the glass rather than putting it into the landfill.

    Separate from other trash, break, clean, sort, transport, mix with concrete and then transport again. This process cannot use less energy than transporting directly to landfill.

    My question is, does this actually help the environment or does it just change the location of the glass? Eventually the glass countertops will be in the landfill.
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    18 Jun 2009 07:55 PM
    Posted By Andy on 18 Jun 2009 01:25 PM
    Sand is created because larger stones are being broken down into smaller pieces. Won't that happen with the larger pieces of glass?

    Think of the process to save the glass rather than putting it into the landfill.

    Separate from other trash, break, clean, sort, transport, mix with concrete and then transport again. This process cannot use less energy than transporting directly to landfill.

    My question is, does this actually help the environment or does it just change the location of the glass? Eventually the glass countertops will be in the landfill.


    I would say it changes the location of the glass. And eventually as with all countertops someone will want to remodel and choose another product. They will end up breaking it into smaller pieces to make it easier to transport to the landfill and when they get there they will probable be told they must separate the glass from the concrete.
    Brian Stone
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    18 Jun 2009 08:00 PM
    Everything has to be taken in context. Sure, it takes a lot of energy to create the glass tops. It also takes a lot of energy to create solid surface or to get granite slabs from the earth, cut them, polish them, ship them...and so on.

    You're correct that eventually the glass is going to end up in a landfill. Hopefully someone gets at least a decade or two of use out of the counter tops before they are destined to become trash again. Maybe by them someone will have come up with a way to recycle Corian so that so much of it doesn't just get thrown away.
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    18 Jun 2009 08:46 PM
    Posted By Brian_Stone on 18 Jun 2009 02:00 PM
    Everything has to be taken in context. Sure, it takes a lot of energy to create the glass tops. It also takes a lot of energy to create solid surface or to get granite slabs from the earth, cut them, polish them, ship them...and so on.

    You're correct that eventually the glass is going to end up in a landfill. Hopefully someone gets at least a decade or two of use out of the counter tops before they are destined to become trash again. Maybe by them someone will have come up with a way to recycle Corian so that so much of it doesn't just get thrown away.


    We recycle Corian, all solid surface, Quartz and Granite every day !

                                       RESTORE ~ RENEW ~ REJOICE





    RESTORE ~ RENEW ~ REJOICE !
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    20 Jun 2009 02:27 AM
    Solid surface could be recycled, problem is getting it back to the factory to be ground up and used in new sheets. I find it interesting that Ice Stone, based in NY, gets it's glass from the mid west. I also find it interesting that Avonite ships strips of acrylic from Kentucky to New Mexico, grinds them up and makes new sheets and say it is green. What is the carbon foot print of shipping material 1500 miles? This is the problem with green, there is no regulation as to what can be called green. Many times I think they call them green, cause the company makes more "Green" selling them.
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    23 Jun 2009 03:25 PM

    I'm working on my third recycled Corian job within a year. The first was a guy who had the tops in the home he sold given to him by the new owner, the second was tear-out Corian given to the couple I refabricated it for and the third is a store display going into a real kitchen.

     

    This is what shocks me about the $29.99 a square foot granite guys.  At that rate, I can just make this worth my while when the CUSTOMER IS SUPPLYING THE MATERIAL. How can these guys buy material, template, fabricate, install and collect and still make a dollar?


    Joe

    Steve Mehan
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    23 Jun 2009 06:02 PM
    Time is showing they can't continue. I just received another aution notice for a granite shop being secured by creditors. 

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    23 Jun 2009 06:19 PM
    Posted By Steve Mehan on 23 Jun 2009 12:02 PM
    Time is showing they can't continue. I just received another aution notice for a granite shop being secured by creditors. 



    We get these notices almost every week, its sad really.

    RESTORE ~ RENEW ~ REJOICE !
    Andy Graves


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    24 Jun 2009 05:26 PM
    I don't think the granite guys are going out of business because of the $29.00 price, it is because of the giant machinery costs and the lack of work. If you get the volume up to ridiculous 2005 levels, you could probably sustain it.

    At this point it looks like partnering with a granite fabricator was the best solution if you were in the solid surface industry.
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