Last week, I spent a day on a roofing job with Jay Carnes of J. Carnes & Son Roofing, of Hampton Falls, NH. My goal was to learn more about Jay’s experience with shingle recycling.
J. Carnes & Son is a GAF Master Elite and Certified Green Roofer. They have been recycling for several years now, most recently with RASTech in Brentwood, NH. From the post-consumer shingles, RASTech produces a variety of specialized road repair materials such as pothole repair and cold patch repair. The recycling service is quick and convenient, and Jay rarely gets a flat tire – those are the big reasons for working with them!
I arrived on the roofing job just as the crew was attaching the safety anchor points at the peak of the roof. From there the crew removed the remainder of the ridge vents, installed protective mesh over the side of the house, and tarped the landing area. Once the protective material was in place, the tear-off proceeded quickly.
Jay’s crew is used to recycling. It takes only slightly more work, essentially some minor separation of materials on the ground. The shingle recycler wants shingles, felt and nails only – no other trash, and especially no rotted wood. Also, recycling generally doesn’t cost any more. In fact, for J. Carnes & Son, recycling is slightly cheaper, in per ton dumping costs. That savings is probably offset when the small amount of extra labor to separate materials is considered, but there are also other benefits to recycling.
The homeowner on this job, a police officer, shared with me that he selected Jay’s company because he wanted someone reputable - a company that would be around. Recycling was not a specific driver for him, but it added to his positive impression of Jay’s company, since he knew that a fly-by-nighter company was not as likely to offer recycling.
All in all, a great day on the roof, and I even took some video that I hope to post soon. Have you tried recycling on some of your jobs? There is much more work to be done to make it standard practice, but it’s really remarkable when you think about it – 100% of the shingle gets recycled, and it doesn’t take any government grants.
Note that I am encouraging those of us in the roofing industry to say ‘post-consumer shingles’ rather than ‘tear-off shingles’. I believe this will help us tell a more positive story about the growth in post-consumer asphalt shingle recycling. Think we can do it? I do.