Where the roofing hits the road

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

From an article by in The Daily Reporter:

It is up to manufacturers and road builders to capitalize on Wisconsin’s decision to allow recycled roofing shingles in asphalt mixes for state road projects.

Prompted by rising oil prices, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation instituted the change Jan. 1 -- in time for the first round of 2009 project bids, said Tom Brokaw, WisDOT materials lab supervisor. Asphalt made from shingles saves money because the recycled shingles replace petroleum.

Brokaw estimated reusing shingles could cut $5 from the cost of a ton of asphalt.

"One of the reasons we worked through this quickly was we could see the savings we could get," Brokaw said.

But realizing those savings could take time, according to manufacturers. The new technology requires new equipment and a new market. It also means collecting shingles to convert into asphalt, though shingles certainly are available.

"Right now, I wouldn't say there's automatically going to be savings," said Scot Schwandt, executive director of the Wisconsin Asphalt Pavement Association.

Some asphalt contractors and manufacturers — including Elkhorn-based B. R. Amon & Sons Inc. and Payne & Dolan Inc., Waukesha — are developing processes to grind shingles into half-inch pieces added to asphalt mixes that meet state standards, Schwandt said.