The folks at Deer Park Roofing in Cincinnati recycle just about everything: asphalt shingles, EPDM, TPO, PVC, steel, aluminum, copper and insulation. They even re-sell their skids. According to the company’s president, Nick Sabino, the commercial and residential roofing contractor doesn’t recycle just because it helps the environment and generates goodwill. They do it to bolster the bottom line as well.
“Everything we do is cost effective,” said Sabino during his seminar on commercial and residential recycling at Best of Success. “There’s nothing that’s costing us a penny more than taking it to the landfill. It’s all about green — but we’re talking about money.”
“In our market, recycling shingles is cheaper and easier than taking them to a landfill,” noted Sabino. “The dumps are far away, and they cost more than the shingle recycling center. Why be on the road longer and pay more? And the recycling center is also near our distributor, so we can grab products after we’ve dropped off a load.”
Recycling also generates goodwill with customers and can generate positive publicity as well. Ten million tons of shingle tear-offs are sent to landfills each year, accounting for 5 percent of landfill waste, noted Sabino. “Fifty percent of homeowners say that recycling their torn-off shingles has an importance of eight on a scale of one to 10,” he said.
The company issues recycling certificates to customers. “It gets our logo out there and makes a great impression with customers,” Sabino said. “It helps differentiate us from the competition.”
Sabino detailed the methods his company uses to recycle roof membrane and polystyrene and polyisocyanurate insulation, as well as scrap metal. Deer Park recycles coping, termination bars, gravel stops, drip edge, gutters, downspouts, fasteners, roof hatches, counter flashing, chimney caps, roof vents, valley metal, step flashing, trim, siding and ladders.
‘We fill up that metal recycling dumpster every week,” said Sabino. “We get a check every week for $400 to $600. It adds up. Year to date, we’ve earned $20,000 through the end of August.”
Sabino emphasized that his recycling programs are cost effective, simple, quick and easy to execute. He urged contractors to embrace recycling before it’s mandated by codes such as the International Green Construction Code, which will be published in 2012. “These codes will have a huge impact on all contractors, whether residential or commercial,” he said. “You’ve got to be careful, because as codes are adopted, state and local codes are often in conflict.”