Barry Hornbacher, Shingle Recycling Business Manager for Owens Corning Roofing & Asphalt, is on a tear with the company’s new shingle recycling program.
“Within the roofing industry, asphalt shingles are the most widely used roofing products,” Hornbacher said. “As a result of normal re-roofing projects each year, millions of tons of asphalt roofing shingles are sent to landfills, wasting valuable resources such as asphalt and aggregate. Up until recently there has been no alternative for this debris.”
Owens Corning makes shingle recycling easy for contractors with its Roofing & Asphalt Preferred Contractor Shingle Recycling Program.
“The program helps recycle the approximately three tons of asphalt shingles that come from the average house tear-off into other products like asphalt to pave roadways,” Hornbacher said. “So not only does shingle recycling speak to the growing consumer demand for sustainable products and services, it is mutually beneficial for contractors and the environment.”
As a primary sponsor of the 4th annual Asphalt Shingle Recycling Forum in November, Owens Corning Roofing & Asphalt has been an active industry leader with recycling.
“We’ve come to know that the attention to this issue has reached a level where homeowners and contractors are changing their respective behaviors,” Hornbacher said. “We’ve seen that homeowner demand for this recycling capability is directly influencing contractor selection. This interest coupled with the more established technology available to recycle the asphalt into paving has driven shingle recycling into the forefront of the industry.”
Reasons for RecyclingAccording to Hornbacher, Owens Corning is proud to be the industry leader in developing a cost-effective and easy solution to simplify shingle recycling. It’s just one component of the company’s “commitment to sustainability.”
“It is important to us that we develop a convenient program to maximize participation among both contractors and homeowners,” Hornbacher said. “Through a strategic alliance with Heritage Environmental Services, who provides the shingle recycling operations, Owens Corning Roofing & Asphalt’s Preferred Contractor Shingle Recycling Program enables our contractor network to differentiate themselves in the marketplace.”
Hornbacher said contactors can now provide homeowners with a complete roofing system including an end-of-life recycling option for old shingles.
“In addition to keeping shingle waste out of landfills, contractors benefit by promoting their own sustainable business practices to homeowners,” he said. “Owens Corning Preferred Contractors who pledge to recycle torn-off shingles also receive access to branded marketing tools which help them differentiate themselves in the home.”
Partner with Heritage Environmental ServicesOwens Corning Roofing & Asphalt is the first roofing manufacturer to create strategic alliance with Heritage Environmental Services, the largest privately held environmental services company in the United States.
“Through this strategic alliance, roofing contractors are connected with dedicated, convenient drop-off centers operated by Heritage that will recycle and process shingle tear-offs to be used in paving,” Hornbacher said.
Heritage’s expertise with environmental regulations on recycling ensures that the entire process meets all the necessary criteria to be safely recycled.
“With the combined efforts of Heritage and Owens Corning Roofing & Asphalt, material that would have been wasted will now be reused and made into roads,” Hornbacher said.
In each market, Heritage Environmental Services works with Owens Corning Roofing & Asphalt and local contractors to determine the most convenient drop-off locations for torn-off shingles.
“We strive to have several drop-off locations in each market so it is efficient for our contractors to drop off loads of material there - rather than the local landfills,” said Hornbacher. “Heritage also provides service for contractors who prefer to have a box delivered and picked up.”
Once drop-off locations and dumpster delivery services are established, shingles are then collected, cleaned, and ground for eventual use as mix in asphalt paving applications.
“Heritage is an expert at processing the roofing material effectively to be used in paving and will accept typical material removed from a roof with the asphalt shingles,” Hornbacher added. “They also perform all appropriate environmental testing and sorting of the material prior to recycling.”
To remain cost competitive and encourage participation, recycling rates are at or below prevailing landfill costs in the respective markets. “Owens Corning Preferred Contractors who pledge to recycle also receive an additional discount to the already competitive rates,” he said. “There are no direct costs to roofing companies.”
Homeowners See the BenefitsHomeowners also realize the importance of recycling. “Given the fact that recycling a home’s old roofing shingles is equivalent to recycling a year’s worth of household waste, homeowners recognize they can have a significant impact on the preservation of otherwise wasted resources through this program,” Hornbacher offered. “In fact, in a recent survey (Blue Sky Research was commissioned by Owens Corning to conduct an online survey of 300 consumers in November 2008), 50 percent of homeowners say that recycling their torn-off shingles - on a scale of one to ten - has an importance of eight to ten.”
Cincinnati, Ohio-area homeowner Dr. Bob Driver said shingle recycling played a big role in selecting a contractor for his recent roofing project.
“I received several quotes from local contractors for the replacement of my roof,” Dr. Driver said. “The estimator from Deer Park Roofing Inc. differentiated himself when he discussed recycling my old shingles. Their ability to use our old shingles in a road construction project made us feel very comfortable with their company. The project went great and our new Owens Corning roof looks fantastic.”
Recycling LocationsBased on a pilot conducted in Indianapolis, Owens Corning Roofing & Asphalt has begun rolling out the shingle recycling program nationally. Most recently, they launched recycling operations in Cincinnati, Chicago and Denver.
“As the program continues to expand, we are focused on growing the geographic diversity by targeting major cities across the United States,” Hornbacher said. “We have plans to aggressively continue growing the program with our next launch scheduled in Minneapolis followed shortly by Nashville and Jacksonville.”
There are two key factors that Owens Corning and Heritage evaluate during the selection of future recycling markets.
“The first thing we look at is major metro markets that have an established interest in recycling and other sustainable practices,” Hornbacher said. “The second factor is Heritage’s determination of there is a proven or emerging track record of accepting recycled asphalt shingle material in road paving. “
Hornbacher also said Heritage has seen the regulatory environment opening up more opportunities with some states’ Departments of Transportation allowing recycled asphalt shingles to be used in paving mixes.
What Contractors Should KnowNick Sabino, President, Deer Park Roofing Inc., Cincinnati, Ohio, said among the benefits of the recycling program is an increase in demand for the service.
“We have seen an increased demand from homeowners for contractors who recycle shingle tear-offs,” Sabino said. “We have had a tremendous amount of positive feedback from homeowners since the inception of the program earlier this year. Some homeowners have told us that the reason they chose us to install their roof was due to our shingle recycling efforts.”
In years past, Sabino’s dump trucks got flat tires or got stuck in the mud from visits to the landfill. “We do not encounter these problems at the recycling centers since they have clear paths that are free from debris,” he said.
The recycling program is easy and cost effective, too, Sabino said.
“The centers are located within the city limits while the landfills are located in the rural areas,” he said. “We are spending less time on the road and more time on the roof. There are also hefty taxes for loads dumped in local landfills. By using the shingle recycling center we save $17 per dump (on taxes) and usually make four dumps per day.”
At Owens Corning Roofing and Asphalt, Hornbacher said the company is leading change in the industry with solutions such as shingle recycling.
“We are very excited to be the first manufacturer to connect contractors with cost-competitive, convenient, and differentiating shingle recycling operations,” he concluded.