From Roof to Road

COLUMBIA, MO., has initiated a six-month pilot program to recycle storm-battered asphalt shingles for use in highway pavement. After hailstorms throughout March and April destroyed many rooftops, the city decided to reduce the amount of shingles being dumped at the Columbia Sanitary Landfill and recover their value by allowing an independent contractor to haul off the shingles and use them in road surfacing.

After the Missouri Department of Natural Resources approved the project on June 20, the city awarded the contract to Swift Construction Co., Neosho, Mo., and has agreed to stockpile the shingles at the landfill until Swift can transport the shingles to its own facility. There, the shingles will be ground into hot mix asphalt. Swift will pay the city 50 cents per ton for loading the material.

By diverting mass quantities of the shingles, the landfill is able to conserve valuable space. “Right now, we are getting about 250 tons of shingles a day,” says Richard Wieman, solid waste utility manager for Columbia Public Works. “We are able to divert the cleanest loads into this stockpile, which is about half or maybe a little more than half.”

From an economic standpoint, Swift Construction will save money on virgin asphalt cement by grinding the shingles into the mix. Most recycled shingles currently are used in paving, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington.

Wieman, whose own roof will need to be replaced as a result of the hailstorms, has high hopes for the project. “If we are successful and the asphalt mix works out with the company, we hope to continue this as a permanent program.”