The Recycling Past
Some manufacturers of fiberglass goods are trying to dramatically increase use of reclaimed fiberglass in the production processes. These companies have investigated methods to reclaim fiberglass for consumer products both domestically and foreign. To date, manufacturers have only been able to obtain sufficient reclaimed fiberglass to replace 10 to 25 percent of virgin resins used in fiberglass products. Manufacturers have four main interests in maximizing use of reclaimed plastics:
o Reclaimed fiberglass offers a way to reduce manufacturing costs.
o Consumers are beginning to show a preference for environmentally aware manufacturers.
o Many states have mandated a timetable to eliminate fiberglass from the waste stream.
o These companies anticipate a federal mandate to include recycled materials in finished goods.
Reasons past attempts at recycling fiberglass have failed
o The process of breaking down the discarded materials was too complex and costly.
o The collection system to ensure an ample supply of incoming materials was not in place. Many of the ventures failed because they could not get enough raw materials to meet the demands.
o Concerns of contingent liability prevented some generators from sending materials to be recycled.
o Past equipment lacked the necessary advancement to produce viable fiberglass.