Soon after roof shingles are ripped off a house and thrown in a dumpster they generally head to a landfill. Each year, the elimination of outdated asphalt shingles generates much more than 1.6 billion square ft of waste—11 million tons. But not for prolonged. Following several years of research and innovation, GAF, North America’s biggest roofing and waterproofing producer, is rolling out a new method to recycle asphalt shingles.
“When you consider about what producing is these days and what it could search like in the potential, circularity has grow to be very important,” suggests the company’s CEO, Jim Schnepper. “It’s essential to us that we do organization in a sustainable way to be very good citizens of the planet. And as we optimize recycling, it might support generate efficiencies and even new industries.”
A Charge-NEUTRAL Remedy
Roof shingles are produced from asphalt— an oil-primarily based byproduct of gasoline and gasoline producing. The challenge for recycling is that when a roof is removed from a home, the shingles are combined with each other with other supplies, such as nails and underlayment. This requires separating the ideal products from the stream, a method that, until now, has been prohibitively expensive. “Cost is an issue for most recycling, and it’s no distinctive for roofing,” Schnepper claims. “One of the parameters for generating this new system was to be ready to recycle at a value that was neutral.”
GAF to start with commenced thinking of the challenge about 10 yrs in the past, but when Schnepper took above as GAF’s president in 2016, he prioritized the job, with the intention of establishing the industry’s initially asphalt shingle containing article-shopper waste. (Schnepper assumed the CEO part in 2021.)
The new procedure has two levels: Initially, a dry stage removes the granules and impurities from the asphalt, permitting about 90% of the old content to be repackaged as a briquette of usable asphalt. Schnepper says the recycled asphalt briquette signifies a new raw content, a product that GAF can use to make new shingles or even promote to paving organizations and other brands.
The 2nd phase is a soaked course of action, in which the recycled asphalt is reintroduced into new shingles. Appropriate now, the materials from one old roof can develop enough shingles with recycled content for about 12 new roofs. The shingles have been UL-licensed for protection and effectiveness.
RETOOLING TO SCALE
GAF options to use recycled substance in its most important item traces, which will call for it to retool present services to run the new method. In full, the organization will have used extra than $100 million looking into, building, screening, and scaling the capability.
“Our focus on innovation is an essential section of what we do as a enterprise, and diverting roofing products from landfills and setting up a round economy for roofing merchandise in North The us is a person of our prolonged-expression sustainability plans,” Schnepper says. “David Millstone and David Winter, the co-CEOs of our guardian enterprise, Typical Industries, have created innovation an absolute precedence and have been champions of the recycled shingle method because its inception. This is a powerful opportunity for us, and I hope it results in other roofing producers to check with what they can do.”