Recycling venture set to open June 15 Plant will convert old roofing shingles into paving material

June 07, 1996|By Donna R. Engle | Donna R. Engle,SUN STAFF

The first recycling plant in Maryland that will turn old roofing shingles into asphalt pavement for roads is set to open in Mount Airy.

Don Katzenberger, president of S&K Roofing in Mount Airy, and his partner Walt Johnson, a tire recycler, plan to start accepting shingles at their plant in Twin Ridge Industrial Park on June 15. The venture will be called Asphalt Roof Recycling Corp.

"This is kind of a real nice use of roofing shingles," said M. W. Witczak, professor of civil engineering at the University of Maryland College Park. "Asphalt cement is very expensive, and here what we've been doing for many years is take it down to the landfill."

Witczak heads the department that helped Katzenberger and Johnson develop a material made from crushed asphalt and fiberglass shingles that would be suitable for paving.

The business partners received a $4,000 grant in 1995 from the University of Maryland Cooperative Extension Service to determine whether the shingles could be cost-effectively converted to paving material.

Parrott Materials Co. of Woodbine plans to use the pellet-size pieces of ground shingles in asphalt on private driveways, parking lots and possibly in maintenance work on county roads.

"It's kind of a logical first step to see how it works on low-traffic-volume roads before you put it on high-traffic-volume roads," Witczak said.

Grinding up shingles for asphalt paving is a good idea, but not as simple as it sounds, said Raymond Finamore, vice president and engineer at Parrott Materials.

Asphalt content varies by manufacturer and the age of shingles, which makes it more difficult to get consistency in a paving mix, Finamore said.

"The big benefit is the liquid asphalt content of the shingles," he said.

The technology is relatively new. Johnson read about it in trade magazines, Katzenberger said. "So we put our heads together and designed a system."

Shingles dropped at the plant will be loaded onto a conveyor belt, sorted to remove trash or wrappers, separated by size and passed by a magnet that will remove nails.

No heat or chemical changes will be involved, Katzenberger said. "We're just taking it and reducing it to the size of crumbs."

The plant initially will employ five workers.

Recycling roofing shingles is a popular idea with local governments that want to extend the life of landfills.

Vinnie Legge, Carroll County government recycling coordinator, is working with the partners to see whether a "shingle bin" at the county landfill would be cost-effective.

Roofing contractors could dump shingles in the bin rather than into the landfill.

Howard County agreed to distribute fliers for the new plant at the Alpha Ridge landfill near Marriottsville.

"We hope they have success in this because it's something we need locally," said Steven Hudgins, chief of operations at the Howard Bureau of Waste Management.

Hudgins estimated that 3,000 to 6,000 tons of roofing shingles could be diverted each year from the Howard County landfill to the Mount Airy recycling plant, assuming that 5 percent of the BTC county's 80,000 homeowners replace their roofs annually.

Legge had no information on the amount of roofing shingle material going into Carroll's northern landfill.

Katzenberger plans to charge roofing contractors $30 a ton to dump shingles at his plant, $15 a ton less than the Carroll County landfill fee, $30 less than Howard's. The offer seems attractive. He said he has contractors "calling us daily to say, 'When are you guys going to be open?' "

Pub Date: 6/07/96

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