Florida Tile says it has surpassed $250,000 in tile donations to charity in 2009. “All tile manufacturers struggle to find ways to dispose of scrap fired tile. Most solutions have involved crushing the tile, either to make filler for asphalt or to re-use it in the body. While this is preferable to sending it to a landfill, it requires lots of extra energy. In 2008, Florida Tile began a program to turn scrap tile into opportunity in the homes of needy people here and abroad,” the company says.

By partnering with Herb Miller and the Mountain Re-Source Center in West Virginia, Florida Tile started donating tile that didn't meet “rigorous quality standards” to the less fortunate. “Much of the tile ends up benefiting the nearby Appalachian region of the United States, which is close to the Florida Tile factory. Florida Tile's packaging partner, Anderson Packaging agreed to provide cartons at cost for the project and some of the shipping is done for free or at reduced rates by service-minded trucking companies,” the company notes.

Florida Tile says its partnership with the Mountain Re-Source Center has been “going strong for over a year now and almost 150 tons of scrap tile has been diverted from the landfill into the homes of the needy. Some of the tile has made it all the way to Africa, while most has ended up helping people in need right here in one of the poorest regions of the United States.”