Whitaker Contracting of Guntersville has been recycling discarded roofing shingles for around a year now. One of the main ingredients in a shingle is a form of asphalt. Whitaker Contracting is shredding the shingles at 3 locations in North Alabama, mixing the reclaimed product with new asphalt and surfacing roads with the mixture. The state of Alabama allows a road mix to contain up to 3 % in recycled shingles.
Asphalt is by-product of the refining process of turning crude oil into the products we use in our cars every day. Asphalt is what is left in the bottom of the refining tower when the process is finished. The escalating cost of oil has raised the cost of asphalt and the cost of surfacing a road.
Whitaker Contracting accepts shingles at their plants in Douglass, Summit and Guntersville. They do ask for and only accept clean loads of shingles at their plants. Mixed loads mean separation of the materials will be required and of course that takes time and money. Contractors are usually happy to bring a pre-separated load to avoid paying the tipping fee that would have been charged by the landfill. The roofing contractor saves $25 - $60 per ton, the landfill has a little less refuse at the end of the day and the resulting product is no longer wasted but reused in a constructive application.
In April, the Solid Waste Disposal Authority (SWDA) and Whitaker Construction began a cooperative arrangement to recycle asphalt shingles at the Huntsville Landfill. Shingles delivered to SWDA’s landfill are set aside in a designated area within the construction & demolition disposal cell. When sufficient quantities of shingles are collected, Whitaker Construction brings equipment in and grinds the shingles into a granular product which is then used by Whitaker in paving North Alabama roads.
Approximately 660 tons of old shingles have been saved from landfill disposal within the past two months. Whitaker is currently taking the extra time to separate debris from the shingles at the Huntsville Madison County SWDA site for the contractors who are loading storm damage debris.
Homeowners should make sure their roofing contractor is aware of the effort and ask them to take a clean load of shingles to the Whitaker sites or the Huntsville/Madison County Landfill.
Hats off to Whitaker Construction and the SWDA for stepping up and leading a recycling effort in a meaningful way!
For information, call the Solid Waste Disposal Authority, 256-880-6054.