The RGO College in Middelharnis, a UNESCO school, provides secondary education at all levels for over 1200 pupils. The college is also part of Eco-Schools, an international program that challenges students to make their facilities more sustainable from the inside out.

As part of a general refresh, the college replaced their existing gray stone wool ceilings – approximately 7000 m2 – with new white Rockfon Lithos panels in combination with a suspension system. The disassembled ceilings were sent to the ROCKWOOL Group factory in Roermond in the Netherlands as part of the recycling takeback scheme Rockcycle.

“Our Rockfon Area Sales Manager brought up Rockcycle several times in the past, but we never had a project that was suitable – until RGO College came along”, said Ybele Broersma, Project Leader at the installer Murre - de Visser Afbouwsystemen BV, who were commissioned by the construction company Bouwbedrijf Krijger. “The school was perfect as our pilot project”.

Recycling the Old School Ceilings 

Before work began, the Rockfon Area Sales Manager Corné van Meer explained the disassembly conditions required for recycling and upcycling. The waste management company Renewi, a ROCKWOOL partner, placed two 40m3 containers at the school. The first container could already be sent to the factory after one week.

With the assistance of handlers from Renewi, a total of five containers were ultimately filled and sent to the factory. At the factory, the stone wool becomes briquettes, which are used as a secondary recycled raw material in the production of new stone wool products. In addition to the tiles, the steel profiles were also collected in a separate container and sent for reuse.

According to Broersma, the biggest challenge in recycling the old ceilings was the planning of such a large quantity within six weeks. Certain furniture items had to remain in place throughout the whole process. Additionally, the technology partner had to fit their installations above the ceilings. To achieve such a short lead time, seven assembly specialists were constantly working on the project, scaling up to nine at certain moments.

Recycling prevents the tiles from ending up in a waste mountain or destined for incineration. It also ensures that new products aren’t purchased unnecessarily. Why throw away what is still useful?

Ybele Broersma

Project Leader, Murre - de Visser Afbouwsystemen BV
Installer:Murre - de Visser Afbouwsystemen BV

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