A cross the supply chain, the adoption of asphalt shingle recycling continues to have significant momentum across the country. As an industry leader advancing this movement, the Owens Corning™ Roofing and Asphalt Shingle Recycling Program has active locations in more than 75 markets nationwide making it accessible to more than 55 percent of the U.S. population. This significant market expansion represents a valuable opportunity for shingle recyclers and customers to grow their business while helping to benefit the environment.
Responsible for driving growth of shingle recycling to more than half the population, the Owens Corning™ Roofing and Asphalt Shingle Recycling Program centers on engaging homeowners, educating contractors and connecting with recyclers to make shingle recycling a convenient, cost-effective and differentiating solution.
A pivotal element behind the success of shingle recycling has been connecting contractors with reliable, reputable companies who deliver dedicated, convenient drop-off centers that will recycle and process shingle tear-offs operated and divert resources away from landfills. To help facilitate the connection between contractors and participation recyclers, Owens Corning Roofing has made several tools available for contractors who join the Owens Corning™ Roofing and Asphalt Shingle Recycling Program.
“As part of our commitment to making shingle recycling convenient and cost effective for all parties in the supply chain, we are a leader in the industry in bringing online solutions and alliances to help connect recycling centers with their customers,” says Barry Hornbacher, Owens Corning Roofing and Asphalt shingle recycling business leader.
To help drive interested customers to easily find recyclers who provide shingle recycling services in active markets, Owens Corning Roofing has an alliance with Earth911®.com to make the Earth911 Recycling Directory available to participating contractors. In addition, there also is a toll-free 1-800-CLEANUP hotline, and a free iRecycle app for Android and iOS mobile devices to locate an expanded list of local recyclers in a customer’s area. This is one of the valuable tools that shingle recyclers can use as part of the program to connect with their customers.
Owens Corning Roofing and Asphalt also offers incentives to recycle as part of the Owens Corning™ Roofing and Asphalt Shingle Recycling Program. In addition to offering a five to 10 percent discount on the recycling fee at participating locations, Preferred Contractors who take the Owens Corning™ Roofing Shingle Recycling Pledge receive leads from interested homeowners, marketing materials and a “Preferred Shingle Recycler” status on www.roofing.owenscorning.com, further increasing their visibility among homeowners.
To help continue generating consumer interest, Owens Corning™ Roofing and Asphalt Shingle Recycling Program recently launched a homeowner pledge available at www.roofing.owenscorning.com to encourage homeowners to pledge to use a contractor who will recycle their old shingles when the time is right to replace their roof. Additionally, as homeowners take the pledge, contractors receive notifications about potential leads in their area.
Cincinnati roofer Nick Sabino has experienced firsthand the benefits of tapping into a recycling program. Implementing a recycling program for his business, Deer Park Roofing Inc. in 2010, has helped establish his company as a trusted roofing advisor and provided Sabino with the initiative to add insulation and energy efficiency solutions for customers. Deer Park Roofing has grown to be one of the area’s strongest performing roofing companies.
Sabino’s participation in the local shingle recycling program also benefits the community. To date, more than 500 tons of shingles from Deer Park Roofing have been recycled for use in paving and repairing local roads—equivalent to 500 barrels of oil, or enough fuel to run an average car for more than 460,000 miles.
For Rodney Standifer of ABC Roofing Co. Inc., in Indianapolis, participating in a recycling program proved to be a point of differentiation that set his business apart from the competition. Appealing to customers who actively recycle, Standifer said his business also attracts new customers who are intrigued by a sustainable solution for their old roof. Moreover, customer support from the recycling program has generated referrals in neighboring communities.
“Offering a shingle recycling program to the community is a win-win situation. Homeowners appreciate knowing the old roof gets a second life,” Standifer says. “It also gives us a competitive edge.”
Just the beginning
All of the combined efforts to connect recyclers with customers and educate consumers are ultimately about diverting the tear-off materials from landfills and directing the valuable material such as asphalt and aggregate into road construction, repair or maintenance applications, the current largest user of post-consumer shingles.
Based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) calculations, recycling the shingles from one roof is comparable to what one household produces in waste in a year. It also has been calculated that every ton of recycled shingles contains the equivalent to one barrel of oil in the form of asphalt. Considering that asphalt roofing shingles represent 80 percent of the marketplace and approximately 10 million tons of asphalt shingles are torn off roofs during repair and replacement jobs annually, shingle recycling is having a sustainable impact.
In fact, since the program inception in 2009 the Owens Corning Roofing and Asphalt Shingle Recycling Program has recycled more than 185,000 tons of asphalt shingles, the equivalent of saving 185,000 barrels of oil**.
Fortunately, there are sustainable end-of-life recycling options to use the valuable materials from torn-off asphalt shingles. Increasingly across the U.S., state-level Department of Transportation offices are specifying recycled asphalt shingles can be used in state funded projects. As a result, paving contractors are willing to use a mix design with shingles in those specified states. Paving contractors in states without a specification can use the material in private and commercial jobs.
In addition to providing an alternative to disposing of old shingles, roof recycling also typically costs at least 20 percent* less than landfill costs in most markets, making it a smart savings opportunity and cost-effective alternative to landfill disposal. The practice of properly removing and recycling of tear-off asphalt shingles can also enable contractors to earn additional credits under the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED rating program and other similar certification programs for their building-owner customers.
“At Owens Corning, we are constantly seeking solutions that carry economic, environmental and social benefits. The shingle recycling program is the perfect example of carefully considered product life-cycle management, from conception of design and manufacture to durable service and end-of-life recycling,” says Owens Corning Chief Sustainability Officer, Frank O’Brien-Bernini. “As part of Owens Corning’s commitment to safeguarding, sustaining and improving the environment for the benefit of current and future generations, we are proud to be the first roofing manufacturer that helped create an infrastructure to increase shingle recycling and material re-use across the country.”
Asphalt shingle recycling represents an important contribution to sustainability in construction practices as well as green building objectives. It is an example of a sustainable building solution that has continued to gain traction and deliver measurable results. As it continues to gain support across the industry, more roofing recyclers and their customers will reap the business benefits.
* Based on Owens Corning Roofing and Asphalt LLC recycling locations survey on recycling costs in eight U.S. markets, July 2012
** Based on Owens Corning Roofing and Asphalt LLC calculation using average composition of shingles, August 2012
This story was submitted by Owens Corning Roofing and Asphalt LLC, Toledo, Ohio.