Business gives roofers means to recycle shingles

Ideal Recycling Inc., an asphalt shingle recycling company now operating in its second full season, expects to remove 20,000 tons of asphalt shingles from Michigan landfills this year. The company supplies its finely ground mix to asphalt companies that, in turn, use it to pave parking lots and private roads. Ideal Recycling is fast becoming Michigan’s largest asphalt shingle recycling location.

“We are continuing to grow and are seeing more and more new customers who want to use us to help them keep their shingles out of landfills and market themselves as green,” said co-owner Chris Edwards. “After working with us for one season, we are finding that our customers now understand that the loads they bring us need to be clean.”

Awareness of shingle recycling is increasing and Ideal has partnered with a number of new green roofing and hauling companies for 2010. One of its green contractors, Kearns Brothers Inc., a roofing company based in Dearborn, Michigan, said its customers appreciate the fact that their roof shingles don’t end up in landfills.

“The response from our customers has been very positive,” said Gary Kearns, sales and marketing manager for Kearns Brothers. “Ideal is great to work with and recycling our asphalt shingles with them is really seamless.”

Ideal has the capacity to recycle 52,000 tons of shingles per year, as allowed by permit. The company accepts shingles from homes, apartments or condos with four units or less and charges a per-ton tipping fee of $18-$20 for clean loads – less than the cost to dump them in a landfill.

Michigan legislators are considering a solid waste surcharge for items dumped in landfills, making it even more economical to send asphalt shingles to Ideal.

According to Michigan law, asphalt companies may use up to five percent recycled asphalt in hot asphalt mix. At the current time, recycled asphalt is not approved for use in public roadways, but Ideal Recycling co-owners Edwards and Todd Foster hope that will change in the future, particularly with concerns about the environment and the costs of oil mounting.