In celebration of Earth Day, IKO announced the full commissioning of its Asphalt Shingle Recycling line in Hawkesbury, Ontario. The company also recently began the pilot phase of a TPO recycling line in its Hagerstown, Md. plant that opened in 2022.  

According to IKO, the Hawkesbury location, one of its eight modern shingle manufacturing plants, is among the first shingle plants in the world to graduate from its pilot phase into daily production. Planning for the two-story 28,000-square-foot Recycled Asphalt Shingles [RAS] facility began in late 2019. After several pandemic related delays, the project broke ground in 2021 and was constructed in phases until completion in fall of 2022. It became fully operational during the winter of 2022-23.

"The first significant step towards reducing shingle related disposal in landfills is our goal to achieve zero percent waste at every plant location. We are well on our way to achieve this objective at our Hawkesbury facility, and we will use what we learned from this effort to rapidly innovate even more efficient lines at both IKO Hagerstown and at each of our shingle plants in the coming years," said David Koschitzky, IKO CEO. 

Dan Horton, founding partner of ASR Systems, a leading pioneer in the development of shingle recycling systems and IKO's partner in this initiative, noted the following:

"IKO is among the first asphalt shingle manufacturers in North America to achieve true circularity at one of its shingle plant locations with an in-line waste recycling process," he said. "It is also the first manufacturer, to my knowledge, that has developed a commercialized shingle recycling center that re-uses the recycled raw material output in the production of new shingles."

In the current environment, a typical shingle recycling plant produces about 5,000 tons of recycled content per year, which is a miniscule percentage of the raw materials used annually by an average production facility. With IKO's new line running daily, the company is exceeding those benchmarks. When it reaches its capacity later this year, the IKO RAS is projected to recycle up to 150 tons of shingle material per day.

According to the U.S. EPA 2020, approximately 15 million tons of asphalt shingles are discarded annually, and 13 million tons were landfilled, and 2 million tons were recovered for further use as recently as 2018.

Edgard Leite, plant manager for the IKO Hagerstown TPO facility, said in a release he is excited about the future potential for recycling efforts at his plant, which employs technology that will allow his team to recover and reuse all of the plant's post-industrial raw material waste, including the polyester scrim, an industry first. 

"We're just getting started, but already we're learning how to gain greater efficiencies from the process. We are eager to realize our goal of re-utilizing all our raw material waste," Leite said.