Contractor Q&A with Rob LaBelle
A Shingle Recycling Program Helps This Roofing Contractor Build Sustainable Relationships with Customers
Rob LaBelle, owner and president of LaBelle Roofing, Inc., in Wayland, Mass., founded his family-run business on three important factors: “Providing exceptional customer service, investing in the local community and respecting the environment.”
After more than 10 years in business, the LaBelle Roofing team has held strong on Rob’s founding philosophy.
“Our customers always come first — they are every bit as important to us as installing a lasting, quality roof,” LaBelle said. “That includes our team’s dedication to honest consultation and expert installation. We believe that education and trust help build lasting relationships with our clients.”
When it comes to the company’s approach to respecting the environment, in particular, LaBelle Roofing has instituted an asphalt shingle recycling initiative to help minimize its impact on the environment and cut down on its contribution to local landfill waste.
Diane Metzger: What do you attribute your success as a roofing contractor to?
Rob LaBelle: Through continued hard work, determination and always putting our customers first, LaBelle Roofing has built relationships with hundreds of satisfied clients across our region. We take pride in being a family-run business, and my sons, Matt and Josh, have taken primary responsibility for carpentry and skylight installation, as well as project management.
We also understand that the building materials we use contribute to our customers’ satisfaction. For many of our residential roofing projects, the LaBelle team especially likes working with IKO’s Dynasty shingles with ArmourZone because of the enlarged nailing area and the high-definition colors that appeal to homeowners.
But it goes beyond just considering the new shingles we’re installing — we’re also mindful of how we’re handling the old roofing material we’re removing.
DM: What do you do with the old roofing materials?
RL: We are very environmentally conscious when it comes to disposal of old roofing materials. We recycle primarily asphalt roofing shingles, along with associated construction debris.
DM: What was your motivation to start recycling at LaBelle Roofing?
RL: We’ve been recycling advocates since the beginning. When we learned that 5 percent of landfill debris (by weight) was shingles, we decided to make shingle recycling a priority for the business.
It made perfect sense for us to seek out a recycling facility for our leftover tear-off shingles. We recycle because we feel it’s what’s right for the environment and our local community.
DM: How/where do you recycle roofing materials?
RL: All of the old shingling and associated materials are sent to a local recycling facility that processes asphalt shingles. We’ve worked with various recycling companies in Massachusetts to help with the recycling process.
They provide us with roll-off containers at the residence to collect all roofing shingles and debris. Also, we have the containers mounted on planks to protect the homeowner’s driveway. We’ve even taken the extra measure to tour these facilities to ensure compliance with local and state environmental regulations.
DM: What happens with the recycled roofing material?
RL: Recycled materials are separated, compacted, bundled and re-used for various purposes, including asphalt pavement for roads, explosive mats to contain blasts and more.
DM: Do you know how much material you’ve recycled to date?
RL: At LaBelle Roofing, we’ve recycled somewhere in the neighborhood of 5,000 tons (10 million lbs.) of roofing debris in the last ten years. The average roof is said to weigh about 3-4 tons, so that’s a lot of recycled roofs!
DM: Do you have a long-term vision or goal for your recycling efforts?
RL: We plan to stay committed to preserving our natural environment by doing our part through shingle recycling. We’ll also continue to seek out additional avenues for recycling.
To learn more about how your business can get involved with shingle recycling in your area, visit www.shinglerecycling.org and www.earth911.com, or you can call 1-800-CLEANUP.
The Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association also offers a technical bulletin on asphalt shingle recycling FAQs at www.asphaltroofing.org.
For more information, visit www.labelleroofing.com.