As a roofing business owner in Denver, Colorado, Kyle Shirley understands and embraces the innovative roofing products that can be found in the new construction and commercial and residential roof replacement industry. One such innovation that is making inroads in the roofing industry is the use of rubber modified roofing products derived from recycled tires. But the roofing industry is not alone – industries from recreation to road construction have turned to rubber modified asphalt products for use in many types of applications.
According to Shirley, the use of rubber modified roofing products made from recycled tires is actually more often used in residential roofing applications. The idea came from a new Canadian roofing products manufacturer (GEM, Inc.) in the early 2000s and was slow to succeed at first.
“But after achieving mainstream success, one of the leading asphalt shingle manufacturers, Malarkey Roofing, took a liking to the idea and started using recycled tires in its own products in 2019,” said Shirley. GEM Inc. products are rubberized/synthetic shingles and Malarkey products are rubber modified asphalt shingles.
“Using rubber not only makes sense from a material reuse perspective, but the resulting roofing products are among the most durable in the entire industry,” Shirley said.
In recent years, Shirley and her team at Sol Vista Roofing have noticed more specific customer requests for the two popular products that use recycled tires.
“We are installing more roofs made from recycled tires. When I speak with other roofing company executives in my market, I hear them making the same remarks,” Shirley said. “Industry-wide statistics are not well known, but Malarkey Roofing (which just started using recycled tires in 2019) claims to have already diverted 2.5 million tires from landfills.”
Sol Vista Roofing anticipates that more manufacturers will begin using recycled tires in their products. Shirley said the success of GEM Inc. products has increased this trend, and with Malarkey starting to include recycled tires in 2019, there has been more buzz around the topic.
“With so many consumers continuing to ask questions about roofing products made from tires, it will be hard for manufacturers to ignore. We have noticed how our customers who choose products made from recycled tires are talking about their new roof with pride, and that mood tends to carry over into the neighborhood,” Shirley said. “The old ‘we just got a new roof’ quickly turned into ‘we just have a new roof and can you believe it’s made out of old tires that’s powerful and carries weight in our customers’ quarters.
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Rosemary Sutton, executive director of Tire Stewardship BC (TSBC), highlighted 13 new grants TSBC has awarded to organizations that will go towards rubber surfacing for playgrounds, parks and arenas, made from recycled tires. TSBC, a nonprofit group dedicated to collecting and recycling used tires in British Columbia, said a total of 14,928 used tires from British Columbia will be used for these community projects. Projects include paving playgrounds, walkways, parks and gathering spaces.
“Tires don’t go away, so the recycling industry in British Columbia continues to invest and innovate to create products so that end-of-life tires can be recycled into new products that often replace use. virgin rubber or other less environmentally friendly products,” says Suton. “We are very proud that British Columbia is home to the largest tire recycling company in North America and the headquarters of the largest recycled rubber mat manufacturer in the world. Tire Stewardship BC is pleased to provide financial support to organizations that have chosen to use recycled tire rubber for their upcoming projects. The final 13 grant recipients will use BC rubber for coating various common areas, making them durable, non-toxic and low-maintenance.
Each year, TSBC receives more applications than funds available. As Sutton explained, the playground equipment industry and installers do a great job of informing their customers of this option for playgrounds and spray parks. In recent years, they have also seen an increase in the number of projects using recycled rubber flooring in arenas and also for trails.
The goal of the TSBC program is to bring “the full loop” of products made from recycled scrap tires back to communities. It’s TSBC’s way of giving back to residents and providing an accessible surface for all users.
“With that goal, there’s the ability for TSBC to show what happens to used tires,” Sutton said. “These types of projects are conversation starters and very often with kids using the playground, spray park, arena, etc. It’s a great teaching tool.”
Sutton predicts that they will continue to see the use of recycled rubber in these projects continue to grow as word spreads and users and project managers see the benefits.
“We see many schools applying because they have students with mobility issues who, without a rubber surface, can’t participate in the game,” she said. In addition, the government has recognized the importance of the play and socialization aspect of the school curriculum and offers grants to schools to improve their playgrounds.
“Tire Stewardship BC is pleased to provide financial support to organizations across the province that have chosen to use recycled tire rubber for their upcoming projects. These grant recipients will use BC rubber for coating various common areas, making them durable, non-toxic and low maintenance,” said Rosemary Sutton, CEO of Tire Stewardship BC. “The rubber coating made from used BC tires is also slip-resistant, making it safer for everyone and creating a soft landing in playgrounds. In addition, the rubber coating is cost-effective and visually appealing.
Sutton noted that TSBC will continue to seek partnership opportunities with companies that make environmentally responsible decisions and understand the importance of using recycled products in the development of their community infrastructure. Since the scrap tire recycling program was established in British Columbia in 1991, more than 100 million tires have been recycled in the province.
In addition to recreational applications, tire-derived aggregates are also used in some innovative applications. In 2021, the engineers who recommended the stormwater management system for an apartment complex in Zimmerman, Minnesota, earned certificates from the Minnesota Governor’s Office for their unique solution. Specifically, Bolton & Menk engineers recommended a solution that used Tire Derived Aggregate (TDA) for an underground stormwater system that was built under a parking lot using 84,000 tires recycled into TDA. supplied by TDA Manufacturing in Isanti, Minnesota, a premier state Tire Recycling division.
Additionally, Bolton & Menk also used recycled tires for Woodbury, Minnesota’s Best Stormwater Management (BMP) Practices. As Bolton & Menk explained in their press release, in general, TDA is a fraction of the weight of many soils, is highly permeable, promotes drainage, insulates eight times better than gravel, and costs less than most. sands and gravels, making it an obvious choice for road construction projects since the late 1980s. However, using TDA for stormwater management is a new concept.
The state of Minnesota throws away approximately 4.75 million tires per year. In total, the Public Works and Parks Maintenance Renovation and Expansion Project reused approximately 210,000 tires in the underground seepage system, reusing approximately 3 years of discarded tires from the Town of Woodbury alone . The use of TDA in the project car parks was environmentally friendly through reuse, in addition to reducing associated costs by 60%, compared to traditional stone aggregates.
Published in August 2022 edition