Owens Corning, Toledo, Ohio, has taken an important step toward achieving its circular economy aspirations with the announcement that it plans to recycle 2 million tons of shingles per year by 2030.
“Owens Corning has a strong sustainability foundation and has set ambitious goals,” Senior Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer David Rabuano says. “This includes establishing circular economy business models that ensure materials in our products remain in the economy indefinitely. … Our mission is to build a sustainable future through material innovation, and, with this enhanced focus on shingle recycling, we continue to make progress.”
The company has launched two workstreams focused on recycling shingles into new shingles and recycling shingles into asphalt pavement. Owens Corning says it intends to reclaim 100 percent of the shingle to eliminate product waste.
“We have invested in shingle recycling efforts through both internal expertise and collaboration with external partners,” Owens Corning Roofing President Gunner Smith says. “This has generated significant learnings that will enable us to accelerate our shingle recycling ambitions and advance this work across the industry to keep shingles out of landfills.”
Owens Corning is piloting asphalt shingle recycling in partnership with ASR Systems, Bristol, Tennessee, and CRS Reprocessing Services, Louisville, Kentucky. Located in Indianapolis on the grounds of Indiana Shingle Recycling, the pilot, to be constructed and run by Indiana Shingle Recycling, Indianapolis, and CRS Reprocessing Services, will use several patented processes for deconstructing post-consumer and post-industrial shingles to extract and reuse raw materials. These materials will be transported to Owens Corning manufacturing facilities where they will be tested in the production of new shingles made with recycled content.
“We believe this approach will provide higher-value recycled materials than other methods, resulting in a higher percentage of recycled content used in new shingles,” Smith says. “We’ve proven it at lab scale, and this pilot will help us move toward commercialization.”
Owens Corning is leveraging its expertise in asphalt innovation to increase recycled asphalt shingles (RAS) use in the paving market. Working closely with paving contractors, Owens Corning scientists have provided technical guidance on incorporating RAS in an asphalt mix design that meets federal and state paving performance requirements. Through this work, the company has diverted 40 million pounds of used shingles from landfills into pavement since 2020.
“Dedicating experts in our organization to testing and evaluating the right mix design of recycled shingles in asphalt paving has helped to create a product that can stand up to the demands of the road,” Smith says. “We are focused on proactively expanding this offering to additional markets to continue increasing the volume of shingles diverted from landfills.”