Owens Corning Works to Keep Roof Shingles Out of Landfills

Owens Corning Works to Keep Roof Shingles Out of Landfills

Shingle image CC licensed by Flickr user chefranden.

Owens Corning is teaming up with one of the country's largest environmental services companies for a new program aimed at reducing the amount of used asphalt roofing shingles sent to landfills.

Owens Corning will introduce its national shingle recycling program in the Midwest before rolling it out to the rest of the U.S. The company's Preferred Roofing Contractors who pledge to recycle their shingle tear-offs will be able to take them to drop-off recycling and processing centers provided by Heritage Environmental Services. Rollout of the program will depend on participation and reaction from contractors and homeowners.

"Millions of tons of asphalt roofing shingles are sent to landfills every year, wasting valuable resources such as asphalt and aggregate," Bill McDaniel, president and chief executive officer of Heritage Environmental Services LLC, said in a statement. "With the combined efforts of Heritage and Owens Corning, material that would have been wasted will now be reused and made into roads."

California's Integrated Waste Management Board estimates the U.S. produces 11 million tons of waste asphalt roofing shingles annually, largely due to re-roofing.

Some industry insiders estimate the value of asphalt from recycled shingles may top $1 billion.

The shingles contain 40 percent asphalt, according to the Construction Materials Recycling Association (CMRA) making it an attractive substitute for virgin asphalt. The National Asphalt Paving Association estimates that using 5 percent recycled shingle byproduct can save between $1 and $2.80 per ton of hot-mix asphalt.

"It is becoming more common because it is becoming more economically feasible," CMRA Executive Director William Turley said of shingle recycling.

The roofing industry has been quite proactive in managing the end-of-life of its materials, Turley said in a phone interview Tuesday, while contractors are becoming more aware of their recycling options.

"Recycling is easier and the disposal is cheaper for them," Turley said, adding that homeowners like the thought of the shingles finding another life. "It's also become a marketing tool for them."

According to Owens Corning, recycling for participating contractors will be cost competitive with local landfill rates.

Shingle image CC licensed by Flickr user chefranden.