VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Northstar Clean Technologies (TSXV: ROOF), a clean technology company focused on the recovery and repurposing of single-use asphalt shingles, recently raised $12.24 million and subsequently listed on the TSX Venture Exchange.
Northstar's Bitumen Extraction and Separation Technology (BEST) uses a proprietary process to separate the liquid asphalt, fiber and aggregate sands from discarded or defective asphalt roofing shingles destined for landfills. In an era when technology companies often go public while they still in the conceptual stage, Northstar has a fully constructed facility in Delta, British Columbia in the commercialization phase with steady-state production expected in Q4 2021.
"Our clean technology solution is expected to have a significant environmental impact by reducing landfill usage, reducing the CO2 impact of asphalt, fiber and aggregate sand production, and contributing to the circular economy," said Northstar CEO Aidan Mills.
ROOF has five expected revenue streams: 1. tipping fees (paid by waste haulers and roofing contractors), 2. sale of asphalt, 3. sale of fiber, 4. sale of aggregate and 5. carbon credits. The "tipping fees" — surcharges paid to dump the old shingles — have been steadily increasing as governments around the world advocate for a "circular economy" while racing to reduce landfill waste.
Although asphalt shingles may not have the aesthetic cachet of copper roofs or cedar-shakes, they are the most popular roofing material in North America due to the low cost, low weight and durability. Asphalt shingles represent over 80% of the roofs constructed in North America today. The market size for asphalt shingles in the U.S. is $1.7 billion (CAD $2.2 billion).
An asphalt shingle roof typically has a 15-year lifespan, after which it gets torn off and replaced. Twelve million tons of asphalt shingles are sent to landfills annually in North America with only 1 million tons recycled back into road pavement. That translates into mountains of asphalt shingles into North American landfills every year.
A telephone survey of 13 Vancouver-based roofing companies confirmed that environmental concerns have spread to the frontlines of asphalt roofing industry.
"Every single shingle that gets torn off here in Vancouver goes straight to the landfill," said Will Franklin, owner of Canuck Roofing. "That's definitely a huge waste and the wrong thing to do."
Franklin reports that the tipping fees have tripled in the last 10 years.
"Accessibility is going to be a big thing," adds Franklin, "The ideal scenario would be a recycling company that picks up the shingles themselves, at a lower rate."
ROOF will use a detailed engineering study to help design a simplified, turn-key operational facility that has the potential to be quickly placed into production in municipalities across Canada and the United States. Northstar anticipates the engineering contract to be awarded in the fall of 2021.
"We are proceeding well on the path to steady state production at our first facility," explained Mills, "We see the potential to increase the capacity, efficiency and reliability of our proprietary process design technology."