Waste not

An EPDM recycling initiative explores the environmental potential of EPDM

Construction waste management quickly is becoming a significant concern not only for the construction industry but for roofing contractors. According to Engineering News-Record, 136 million tons of construction debris are created annually and the cost of virgin materials continues to increase.

For this reason, the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System,â„¢ the green building movement and code changes are pressuring the construction industry to plan for the reuse, recycling and reconstitution of excess materials from construction sites.

In response to this, during 2006, the EPDM Roofing Association (ERA) launched an EPDM recycling initiative to determine the possibilities of recycling used, in-place EPDM roof membranes and identify a potential market for using the byproduct.

An EPDM industry task force was established to investigate the possibilities and consists of Ed Kane, division manager—technology of Firestone Building Products Co., Indianapolis; Dick Gillenwater, manager of Advanced Products and Green Roof Systems for Carlisle SynTec Inc., Carlisle, Pa.; and myself.