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ARMSTRONG CEILINGS SETS ANOTHER RECYCLING RECORD
 
Green Omega recycling installers help ArmstrongCeilings to record heights.

A rapidly expanding network of Green Omegas (specialist sub-contractorswith equally specialist recycling expertise) has helped Armstrong Ceilingsbreak its recycling records for thesecond year running.



The manufacturer recycled a total of 142,000m2 last yearduring which time nine members of Armstrong's 136-strong Omega network ofapproved installers proved their recycling expertise to such an extent thatthey qualified as Green Omegas.


That 142,000m2equates to 495 tonnes or more than 528 skips whichwould have cost contractors almost £100,000 in landfill tax.

All of the returned material has been or will be used in the manufactureof new mineral ceiling tiles, saving the company (which does not charge for theservice) more than £28,000 in virgin materials.
 
And not only is the scheme saving contractors money, the Green Omegaaccreditation is also making them more money.

Installers PFP, based in Edinburgh, have been in business since 1997 andan Armstrong Omega since the millennium while CAP Ceilings and Partitions,based in Exeter, have been in business since 2002 and an Omega since then.

PFP managing director Boyd Sinclair said of the Omega scheme: “Thebenefits of becoming an Omega installer were the closer working relationshipwith Armstrong, PFP being recommended to clients by Armstrong for projects, andreceipt of project leads from Armstrong.

“We can project ourselves better as a reputable installer of Armstrongproducts which is of particular benefit when we are competing against labouronly sub-contractors as we do come across a number of main contractors tryingto weigh up the choice between buying materials direct and using labour-only sub-contractors(self-employed operatives) versus ourselves to procure and install thematerials. 

“Most labour-only sub-contractors would not be Armstrong Omega certifiedand so if we can demonstrate to the main contractor that we are a certifiedinstaller and a Green one at that this makes a difference. It makes adifference too against those of our competitors who are non-Omegas. It justgives us a bit of an edge against the competition (albeit some main contractorsare only looking for the cheapest price).”

The £12 million turnover company became a Green Omega last year oncompletion of their biggest Armstrong project to date - the  Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow - where 10,000m2 or 35 tonnes of mineral ceilingtile off-cuts were recycled over the two years for main contractor BrookfieldMultiplex.

Gary Mortimer, project surveyor for PFP, said then: “The sheer size andcomplexity of this project could have made it an extremely challenging one butthe recycling element, particularly with Skipeez on board, went very smoothly.We had never used such a variety of Armstrong systems before on one project butthanks to the level of support we received from Armstrong's local sales andtechnical teams and the distributor, we managed to deliver a project we are allvery proud of.”

CAP, who had recycled plasterboard walls before, also became a Green Omegalast year after recycling 7,000m2 of old tiles and new tile off-cutsfrom an office block in Bristol for main contractor Midas.

Director Gary Rice said of that: “It was a very tight, congested site sothe logistics were challenging.”

Of the Green Omega scheme, PFP's Boyd Sinclair said: “It is definitelyworthwhile getting involved. It provides us as a sub-contractor with a very easy route to recycling ouroff-cuts. It also allows us to add another element to our recycling strategy aswe also currently recycle our plasterboard waste on a number of projects. 

“Armstrong are streaks ahead of the competition when it comes to theircommitment to recycling mineral ceilings within the industry.  They have ensured that their distributionpartners (our suppliers) are fully on board with the scheme and this allows usto work as a team to ensure waste is diverted from landfill.

“As more and more main contractors are becoming increasingly environmentallyconscious working with Armstrong allows us to present this as a selling pointto the client which places Armstrong's products ahead of the competition andgives us an edge over the competition. At this stage it isn't easy to quantifythe benefits, especially not in terms of turnover, but it is definitely astrong advantage and selling point for everyone involved in the scheme.”

Gary Rice added: “The benefits of being an Omega member are the recognition,being a recommended installer of the market leader. The support from Armstrong hascertainly helped us to grow the business from ground zero to £8 million.”

And of being a Green Omega, he said: “We are very conscious of ourenvironmental impact so it helps us with that and it helps that we candemonstrate that to our clients. We are looked upon more favorably by clientsbecause we have the recycling system in place.

“It's a no brainer as there are no cost implications but it helps uswith cost reduction to a certain point in that we can monitor our waste moreand also know that hopefully when the tiles go back in it helps to bring downthe cost of new tiles.”

Of the future for ceiling recycling, PFP's Boyd Sinclair said: “The momentumneeds to be kept up although with the size of Armstrong as a global player andtheir commitment to drive this through as a USP for their business this shouldnot be a problem.

“The challenge, which is also an opportunity, is to get more sitestaking advantage of the scheme as some main contractors are more conscientiousthan others.  It really comes down toArmstrong and the Green Omegas spreading the word.  Commonly when it works on one site that siteteam/company take the system/process forward to the next one and before long itis the norm or is incorporated into the way they run their sites. So with timeit should become common practice.”

CAP's Gary Rice added: “It is making main contractors aware that this isavailable to them and that we are able to help with that. I think Armstronghave done a good job of covering it off - they are eventaking other manufacturer's ceiling tiles backnow. As for the future, perhaps recycling of the grid systems should be next onthe agenda and more ways of using off-cuts actually on site, perhaps foradditional acoustic flanking.”

The other Armstrong Omegas to become Green Omegas last year are Dancor,DV McColl, East Midlands Ceilings, Eastledge, ISEC, Oatley Ceilings and RichardKemble.

ENDS
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