For the first time, large amounts of waste normally headed for Colorado landfills can be recycled.
(Denver) — Roofing materials are one of the biggest contributors to landfills, but now those materials can be turned into asphalt for roads.
On an average house, roughly three tons of roofing materials are torn off when the roof is replaced. And up until now, all of that material was shipped to a landfill.
It cost the contractors money just to through it all away with a major impact on the environment.
In fact, each year more than 11 million tons of discarded roofing materials are dumped into landfills.
“The oil that’s in these shingles is the same thing we use in construction and have been using for many years,” said Kevin Garcia of Lafarge Materials, “There’s no reason why we shouldn’t be able to reuse it. It’s a non renewable resource.”
Now, for the first time in Colorado, roofing shingles are going to be ground up and recycled into asphalt at the Lafarge Plant in north Denver, which paves thousands of miles of Colorado roadways.
“Anything you can do to take what is a waste and make it a resource is a huge deal,” said Rodney Pierce of Heritage Environmental, which is the recycling partner, “And that’s the green economy.”
“This is one of the biggest changes I’ve seen in the roofing industry,” said Scott Riopelle of Interstate Roofing in Denver. “Especially with the recent hail storms. Last year, there was 250 thousand piles like this dumped in Colorado landfills,” Riopelle said, pointing to piles of soon-to-be recycled materials.
Roofing manufacturer Owens Corning worked to develop a way to keep it from landfills. Denver is their third pilot project nationwide.
Now, for a small recycling fee, contractors can bring materials to the recycling facility at 64th and Pecos.
“They could save money versus what they were paying at landfill” said Barry Hornbacher of Owens Corning. “And then they wanted to be able to tell homeowners that they were doing some great things for the environment.”
And with roofing materials making up six percent of landfills across the country, that could be a major accomplishment.
Interstate Roofing says this will not only be better for the environment but a great marketing tool for their company.
By: Dave Youn