GAF has announced a new patented shingle recycling process that has successfully produced the industry’s first asphalt roofing shingles containing recycled material from post-consumer and post-manufacture waste shingles that may have otherwise been landfilled.
This breakthrough represents an important milestone in delivering more sustainable, affordable roofing materials and has significant implications for improving sustainability and circularity across the roofing supply chain.
“This latest innovation from GAF represents the first major step towards a circular economy for asphalt roofing shingles,” says Jim Schnepper, president, GAF. “We envision a future where every homeowner, when replacing their roof, can do so with high-quality, affordable shingles made with recycled asphalt.”
The new shingle recycling process reduces the amount of raw materials required to make new shingles without compromising product quality or performance. During its successful tests, GAF was able to reclaim more than 90 percent of the waste shingle material, by weight, to be reused in the manufacture of new shingles. GAF additionally demonstrated its ability to manufacture new shingles containing up to 15 percent recycled material that were UL-certified for their safety and effectiveness. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued GAF three patents covering this new shingle recycling process.
GAF is committing more than $100 million to bring the recycling process to commercial scale, including the development of a pilot operation in 2021 that will enable the company to conduct additional research and development on its process. Through the pilot GAF expects to assess the maximum amount of recycled asphalt that can be used to make new shingles meeting the company’s high standards while optimizing the manufacturing process prior to scaling it across its operations.
“This innovation has the potential to reduce a significant waste stream in the U.S. and represents an important advance within the roofing industry,” adds Tad Radzinski, certification officer, GreenCircle Certified, a third-party certification organization. “Through the recovery of valuable end-of-life roofing materials, GAF is setting the course to reduce environmental impacts across the shingle product life cycle and provide a truly circular, sustainable solution for roofing products.”
As a leading manufacturer in North America—where one in four residential roofs are covered by GAF—the company is uniquely positioned to extend the impact of this innovation across manufacturing facilities to help reduce landfill waste and continue to offer more sustainable roofing options to its customers.