Although asphalt shingles are made of recyclable materials, Canadians discard about 1.25 million tonnes of asphalt-based roofing materials each year. Discarded asphalt shingles take up landfill space and pollute the environment, releasing carcinogenic hydrocarbons into the atmosphere.
Consumers have a growing preference for the use of sustainable building products. Asphalt shingle recycling is a building solution that has continued to gain momentum across the industry. Shingle recycling programs are now available in some areas of the country, and participating contractors have found that offering this recycling capability can directly influence contractor selection, which translates into more work. Roof recycling can cost up to 20% less than landfill costs in some markets, making it a cost savings opportunity.
Shredded asphalt shingles can be used in any number of applications, including gravel road dust suppression and hot patch road repairs; as an admixture to asphalt and cement; as shredded material mixed with aggregate suitable for building up roads or multi-use nature trails; or as fuel for cement kilns and electricity generation.
Shingle recycling efforts have definitely increased over the last few years, but there is still a long way to go. There are 10 recycling facilities available between BC, Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario, but this is not nearly enough to create the environmental impact that Roofers Plus Canada would like to see over the next few years. As recycling continues to gain support across the industry we hope to build awareness of the need for shingle recycling facilities to exist, starting with many of the densely populated areas in each province.
Some manufacturers, such as Owens Corning®, are taking the lead in establishing programs for recycling shingles. They have recycled 100,000 tonnes of shingles since 2009. “Every recycled roof is comparable to recycling more than 100% of a year’s worth of household waste. Combined, the recycled shingles provided 100,000 barrels of oil in the form of asphalt for beneficial re-use, typically in paving.”
We commend the Owens Corning company, as well as other visionaries, such as The Co-operators Insurance who recognize the value of sustainability and are willing to go that extra mile for the environment even if the cost is a little extra. Homeowners can now be environmentally friendly while making choices for their home, in those places where facilities exist.
Learn more about asphalt shingle recycling at shinglerecycling.org.
Environmental Processors West, Inc. (EPI West)
Calgary Site: 71 Technology Way SE
Calgary, AB, Canada T3S 0B3
Calgary Contact: Paul Nielsen
Edmonton East Site: 6433 20 St
Edmonton, AB, Canada T6P 0A1
Edmonton West Site: 408 David Rd
Edmonton, AB, Canada T7X 5A7
Edmonton Contact: Shane Ducholke