In the latest update of its ongoing recycling program, the EPDM Roofing Association (ERA) announced that more than five million square feet of EPDM membrane has been recycled since the program’s inception. That total is the largest recorded figure for a recycled commercial roofing product in North America. In all, roughly 1.25 million pounds of reclaimed EPDM membrane has been diverted from landfills in the past three years.
After initiating the program in a pilot phase in 2006 and 2007, ERA has expanded the program in 2008 and 2009, thanks in large part to the introduction of the ERA Recycling Council, featuring ERA Affiliate Members. The Affiliate Member category is open to any company engaged in any aspect of the business of recycling EPDM or other single-ply roof membranes.
Nationwide Foam Inc. (NFI), of Framingham, MA, and West Development Group (WDG), of LaGrange, OH, are the first members of the Recycling Council. Through the efforts of these partners, the EPDM recycling program is active in 48 U.S. states and several provinces in southern Canada. The program is available for low-slope ballasted and mechanically attached non-reinforced EPDM membrane tear-offs, offering jobsite collection and transportation directly to a recycling center.
“We have seen significant progess in the recycling program in the past 18 months,” said Mike DuCharme, director of product marketing, Carlisle SynTec, and chairman of ERA’s board of directors. “EPDM is now well positioned in a changing marketplace that has high expectations for sustainable performance and a life cycle that extends into recycling.”
The EPA also estimates that more than one billion square feet of EPDM roofing is removed from rooftops every year, the equivalent of 33,000 40-yard dumpsters or more than 120,000 full-size railcars.