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Recycling biz will turn local roofs into roads

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What: Grand opening of Heritage Environmental Services' recycling program

Where: Upstate Recycling, 11400 Bluffton Road

When: 10 a.m. Thursday

Wednesday, November 3, 2010 - 9:58 am

With the grand opening of the Heritage Environmental Services recycling program Thursday, Fort Wayne will become the sixth U.S. city to recycle roofing for road pavement.

Heritage Environmental Services and Owens Corning Roofing and Asphalt have teamed up with American Recycling, a subsidiary of Upstate Recycling, to provide the program at Upstate, 11400 Bluffton Road.

Upstate Recycling is a scrap metal recycling business that started American Recycling to recycle asphalt roofing.

Owner Martin Henry said, “With Upstate, we had always taken roofing because we had the right-sized bins to fit on the homes' lots, but we were just dumping it all in the landfill. I was looking for some kind of way that we could start recycling all of this material, and that's when I found Heritage Environmental and Owens Corning.”

Heritage Environmental takes old asphalt shingle roofing, provided by homeowners and their roofing contractors, and recycles the asphalt from the shingles. The asphalt is then used to help pave local roads.

Owens Corning is a global provider of building materials and fiberglass reinforcement and is the first roofing contractor in the nation to team up with Heritage to provide these new roofing recycling programs in Denver, Chicago, Minneapolis, Indianapolis, Cincinnati and now Fort Wayne.

Not only does the recycling help ease the cost and resources needed to pave roads, but it also cuts the amount of waste taken to landfills. According to Owens Corning, recycling the old roofing of a home is equivalent to recycling a year's worth of household waste. On average, 3 tons of roofing is recycled per household in the United States, and with eight of every 10 households using asphalt shingle roofing, the numbers quickly add up.

To celebrate this new roofing recycling capability in Fort Wayne, Heritage will hold a green ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially start its new program.

At the ceremony, used roofing materials from local homes will be unloaded to show the amount of waste that roofing recycling can keep away from the landfill.

Immediately after the ribbon-cutting, a representative from A&B Construction will be honored as the first local contractor to sign the shingle recycling pledge of recycling 100 percent of used roofing materials.