Supplying new lifestyle to previous roofing shingles

Immediately after roof shingles are ripped off a house and thrown in a dumpster they generally head to a landfill. Each yr, the removal of aged asphalt shingles generates extra than 1.6 billion sq. feet of waste—11 million tons. But not for very long. After yrs of exploration and innovation, GAF, North America’s premier roofing and waterproofing manufacturer, is rolling out a new course of action to recycle asphalt shingles.

GAF- for cleaning up our roofs

“When you imagine about what production is nowadays and what it could search like in the long term, circularity has become very important,” claims the company’s CEO, Jim Schnepper. “It’s important to us that we do company in a sustainable way to be superior citizens of the planet. And as we optimize recycling, it may enable generate efficiencies and even new industries.”

A Cost-NEUTRAL Option

Roof shingles are manufactured from asphalt— an oil-primarily based byproduct of gasoline and gas producing. The obstacle for recycling is that when a roof is eradicated from a dwelling, the shingles are blended jointly with other supplies, this sort of as nails and underlayment. This requires separating the sought after components from the stream, a method that, until eventually now, has been prohibitively pricey. “Cost is an situation for most recycling, and it is no diverse for roofing,” Schnepper states. “One of the parameters for developing this new procedure was to be equipped to recycle at a price that was neutral.”

GAF very first started taking into consideration the trouble about 10 a long time ago, but when Schnepper took more than as GAF’s president in 2016, he prioritized the challenge, with the intention of building the industry’s initially asphalt shingle made up of put up-shopper waste. (Schnepper assumed the CEO function in 2021.)

The new method has two phases: Initial, a dry phase removes the granules and impurities from the asphalt, permitting roughly 90% of the aged material to be repackaged as a briquette of usable asphalt. Schnepper suggests the recycled asphalt briquette represents a new uncooked substance, a solution that GAF can use to make new shingles or even market to paving organizations and other brands.

The next phase is a moist process, in which the recycled asphalt is reintroduced into new shingles. Correct now, the components from one particular outdated roof can generate adequate shingles with recycled content for about 12 new roofs. The shingles have been UL-licensed for safety and success.

RETOOLING TO SCALE

GAF designs to use recycled substance in its key item traces, which will have to have it to retool existing services to run the new procedure. In total, the business will have put in far more than $100 million looking into, producing, testing, and scaling the ability.

“Our concentration on innovation is an crucial aspect of what we do as a organization, and diverting roofing resources from landfills and establishing a round economy for roofing products and solutions in North The usa is one particular of our extensive-time period sustainability aims,” Schnepper states. “David Millstone and David Wintertime, the co-CEOs of our father or mother company, Conventional Industries, have designed innovation an complete precedence and have been champions of the recycled shingle procedure because its inception. This is a persuasive prospect for us, and I hope it leads to other roofing suppliers to check with what they can do.”

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