The Homasote Plant: Conservation in Action
To fully appreciate Homasote's commitment to recycling, visit our West Trenton, New Jersey, manufacturing facility. Today the 1,000,000 sq. ft. complex employs nearly 110 people in engineering, technical and production capacities. Here, old newspapers and other discarded paper products are recycled into quality building and packaging materials utilized in thousands of commercial, residential and industrial applications throughout the world. Recycling and resource management are full-time jobs at Homasote. Running at maximum capacity, recycling of wastepaper reaches about 100 tons a day. That's 80,000 tons a year!
The unique manufacturing process begins when an individual separates newspapers from trash and places them where they can be picked up. A local recycling agency then brings the papers to the Homasote Company. Finally, the waste paper is placed on a conveyor and fed into a "hydrapulper" - a huge, 13 ft. deep steel cylindrical vat of rapidly swirling water heated to 140°F. The high-speed rotor in the bottom of the vat beats the raw paper products into a grayish slurry of water and cellulose fiber pulp. A ragger separates the large non-paper debris from the cellulose pulp before we introduce asbestos-free, formaldehyde-free additives. Small non-paper debris is removed by centrifugal force in special cyclones. The small amount of ink remaining through the processing gives the board its grayish tint and actually adds to its weather-resistance.
The refined slurry - 98% water and 2% pulp - is fed into holding tanks, then the cellulose fiber mix is conveyed to 8' x 12' and 8' x 14' forming molds that shape the product. The formed sheet is then moved on rollers through a 200 ft. enclosed dryer for about four hours. After molding, pressing and drying, the sheets are ready to be cut to size to be made into a variety of Homasote products.
No other fiber board is manufactured like Homasote, nor does any other match its physical properties. The result is a weather-resistant, structural, insulating, extremely durable board with two to three times the strength of typical light-density wood fiber board.
By the way, water removed from Homasote products during manufacturing - hundreds of thousands of gallons a day - is completely recycled through a closed loop system.