The EPDM Roofing Association (ERA) announced that a research project has been initiated into the possible recycling of EPDM single-ply roofing material. This project, conducted jointly by Firestone Building Products Company and Carlisle SynTec Incorporated, will provide the first data on the viability of recycling EPDM material, estimated costs of the recycling process and potential uses for the recycled material.
In the initial phase of the project, ERA, along with Firestone and Carlisle SynTec, will select pilot locations for the program and work with appropriate contractors and companies to remove, transport and recycle the material. Tests on the recycled material will then be conducted to determine its viability as a recyclable product, either on its own or in combination with other materials. This phase will begin in the summer of 2006.
“This project reflects the commitment of everyone in the EPDM roofing industry to environmental responsibility,” said Jim Hoff, Vice President of Technology and Product Development, Firestone Building Products Company. “Given the widespread adoption of EPDM roofing systems over the past 40 years, we recognize that a significant amount of material will be approaching the time for replacement, and therefore recycling, in the future.”
EPDM roofing material accounts for more than one billion square feet of new roof coverings in the United States annually, with more than 500,000 warranted roof installations on 20 billion-plus square feet. EPDM is the number one roofing choice of architects, roof consultants and contractors for both new construction and replacement roofing projects according to 2002-2003 market surveys by Building Design and Construction magazine and the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA).
“The very qualities that have made EPDM roofing so popular in its initial usage – its flexibility and long-term resistance to various climactic conditions – should make it an attractive option in its recycled state,” said Dick Gillenwater, Manager of Special Projects, Carlisle Syntec Incorporated. “We look forward to reviewing the data from the pilot project, which will help us determine the most viable applications for the recycled material.”