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Coffee Conversations - Where Roofs go to Rest - PODCAST TRANSCRIPTION

OC - Coffee Convo - Watch
November 21, 2021 at 9:56 a.m.

 

 

Editor's note: The following is the transcript of an live interview Owens Corning Shingle Recycling team. You can read the interview below or watch/listen to the Coffee Conversations. 

Heidi Ellsworth:
Good morning everybody and welcome to Coffee Conversations. We are so excited to have you here today. My name is Heidi Ellsworth, I am the president and owner of RoofersCoffeeShop. I have to tell you this Coffee Conversations today is going to be really unique. Something that I am passionate about, and have been passionate about for a long time, so I am very honored that we are going to have the panelists and the conversations today on sustainability and recycling. So, before we get started I want to remind you all that this is interactive. We really want to have you and your questions coming back to us. So Megan Ellsworth is in the background, she's always there chatting, talking to you. We want to make sure you're asking your questions as we go through this.

Heidi Ellsworth:
I also want to note that I'm on the road again. I just wanted to share real quick it was in March of 2020 when all of this started with COVID that we started Coffee Conversations. With Coffee Conversations we wanted to bring what was happening to all of you, to ask questions, to make things happen. So what we're seeing now is that we are in a whole new phase, so I'm out on the road, I'm traveling again. I'm actually in Phoenix, Arizona today, but we're still bringing these important topics to everyone out there, so that we can learn, we can get better, and we can really go to that whole new level and stage.

Heidi Ellsworth:
So today we have Where Roofs Go To Rest. So we're going to be talking about roofing recycling. I am very, very happy to say that this is sponsored by Owens Corning. Owens Corning has been doing an amazing job, as you will see, for many years. Really being a leader in the sustainability discussion. Not just discussion but in doing, in making things happen. That's what we're going to be talking today, how can we take roofing waste ... And not just roofing, we're talking about building products overall, and how can we get less of that in landfills and more of it be recycled and reused. So Owens Corning thank you so much for being a leader and thank you so much for sponsoring these Coffee Conversations today.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Now let's get to our panelists and let's have some great conversation here. I'm going to ask our panelists ... And we have experts from Owens Corning and from the paving industry, which is so cool because we want to talk not just about it coming off the roof but where does it go? Where does that roof go to rest? A little Halloween fun there. But where does it go and how does it work? So, we've asked some experts downstream to come and visit with us, and talk about this great circular economy. I'm going to start and ask Jim Trost ... Welcome to Coffee Conversations Jim.

Jim Trost:
Thank you. It's good to be here with everybody today. I'm Jim Trost, I'm the executive vice president for Gallagher Asphalt. We're one of the major paving contractors in the Chicago area. We operate four asphalt plants in the Chicago area and been doing recycling of asphalt shingles for several years, so happy to be here and join you guys today. I won't read through my bio and bore you with all that, so that's me.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Jim thank you. And thank you for coming and representing the paving industry. We really need to be thinking about that on the big level of how all of the trades, all the different industries are working together. So I'm really looking forward for you to share your story on what your ... And what you've been doing. But I also would like to bring, and introduce, Courtney Rice with Owens Corning. Courtney thank you for being here. What role do you play with Owens Corning and this roofs to roads?

Courtney Rice:
Yeah, happy to be here. Thanks for the invite. Anyway, I've been in the asphalt industry for over 10 years now working with our specialty paving team, and really leading technical and product development in this area. We've done some work with recycled shingles, not just manufactured waste but also post-consumer, the tear-offs. So working with Jim at Gallagher as well and really becoming part of the sustainability effort too.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Great. Such an important part of it, the asphalt. Obviously this is what it's all coming back to, so your expertise, thank you for bringing that and for sharing it. We're going to learn a lot today. Then I would like to introduce a very good friend of mine, who the person I reached out to at the beginning said, "Hey, we got to do this," and we've been talking back and forth about all of her efforts, so Molly Quinn. Molly welcome to Coffee Conversations, please introduce yourself.

Molly Quinn:
Yeah. Thank you for having me Heidi. I'm Molly Quinn, I'm the sales leader ... I'm a sales leader for Owens Corning in our Roofing division. We sell roofing products. We also do our best to help our contractors develop and grow their businesses. We do that in a lot of ways. One of them being watching out for important trends that they should be aware of. Of course in this case that trend is sustainability. Also, because sustainability is so important at OC I do have the honor of representing our sales organization on OC's Circular Economy team. And Mark Leo is the leader of that Circular Economy team, so I think it's pretty awesome that OC has roles created just for folks to think about nothing but sustainability. That's what Mark wakes up and goes to bed thinking about every day.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Yeah. Before we introduce Mark, because this is really going to get us into the meat of it, I do want to say, just for everybody out there so you know, Molly has been involved in a number of these initiatives. And so Owens Corning is focused on working through and really making solutions. I know Molly and I worked on diversity, and so she was very involved in the diversity movement at Owens Corning, and now sustainability. So I just had to point that out because to me that says so much, when you're actually doing it and working through it. So Molly thank you for all you're doing for roofing.

Molly Quinn:
Well you're welcome. You're awesome. You're just letting me come along for the ride, so I appreciate you Heidi.

Heidi Ellsworth:
A lot of great stuff out there to be talking about.

Molly Quinn:
Yeah.

Heidi Ellsworth:
So Mark I am really, really excited about having you on Coffee Conversations and talking about what you're doing with the Circular Economy. Such a great thing. Please introduce yourself and talk about this initiative.

Mark leo:
Yeah, thank you. Thanks for having us here. This is a really cool forum and we're excited to be here, so thanks for organizing this. Yeah. My name's Mark Leo and I'm a director within our Corporate Sustainability Group, specifically I'm responsible for Circular Economy. So what does that mean? Well anyone who knows Owens Corning I think knows that we have very ambitious sustainability goals, from a corporate level, and we've also ... We've been very committed for a long time, so we're, I think, well regarded as a leader in sustainability. One of the many dimensions to our sustainability goals, and one of the key ones that we can talk about here today, is our zero waste-to-landfill commitment. So by 2030 we want to have zero waste-to-landfill from our plants. How we do that is one of the things we do is we divert, so if there's scrap, which there inevitably is from manufacturing processes, we want to divert part of that. Another thing we do is we actually develop capabilities within our plants to recycle some of the scrap and some of the waste that's generated.

Mark leo:
So those are pieces of the responsibilities for the Circular Economy team, but we really take that to the next level in our end-of-life solutions. So going beyond what we produce that needs to be recycled we're looking at the products that we put into the market and then at the end of the useful life of those products what's happening to them? Unfortunately today pretty much 100% of it goes into the landfill. Most of the building materials at the end of the life go to landfill. We're not okay with that. This is what this team is all about, we're trying to find solutions for that. So if you look at asphalt shingles, which is obviously a core part of Owens Corning's business and very visible, 13 million tons of asphalt shingles go into the landfill every year. On a good year a million tons get recycled and typically that's into paving.

Mark leo:
So, we as Owens Corning, we were the first to launch a shingle recycling program where we connect our contractors ... We actually ask them to make a pledge, when they're working with us, to recycle shingles whenever possible. What we try and do is ... We have a third-party, Earth911, that we work with to connect our contractors with shingle recyclers. Where that ends up going is typically into paving. So the key point here is that within an asphalt shingle the most valuable component is the asphalt. Asphalt's expensive and at the end of its life that asphalt is still in there, it's still usable and it has value. So what we want to do is unlock that value and use it in places like paving. So, that's what we're going to talk about today and I think we're going to explain a little bit how we can unlock that value, and maintain it, and keep it in the circular economy because that's what we're trying to build here. That's kind of the-

Heidi Ellsworth:
That ...

Mark leo:
... high level and looking forward to the conversation.

Heidi Ellsworth:
This is a solution that everybody's been working on. At least I remember it all the way back to the beginning of my career, looking at how can we recycle? How can we really take what's on the roof and use it effectively, instead of it going into landfills? But before we get to that I would like, Mark, just I want to make sure everyone out there knows too that this isn't just about shingles with Owens Corning. This is about all of the building products, everything that you do at Owens Corning. I mean, maybe just share a little bit. There's such a bigger picture there of recycling and sustainability.

Mark leo:
That's right. Our efforts are across our entire corporation. So, as you know, we have a Roofing division, we have an Insulation division, we have Composites. We are developing technologies to recycle and to find end-of-life solutions for all those businesses. And even within shingles we're looking at different approaches. So, yes, asphalt paving is a great place to keep shingles into the circular economy but at the same time we're also looking at ways to deconstruct shingles and extract asphalt, and other components, from shingles at end of life or manufacturing waste. And actually use that to put into our new shingles, so that in the future we can expect to see recycled content in our shingles. That'll be kind of the next phase of how we see the circular economy coming together, with respect to our business. Then you'll see it in other businesses as well.

Mark leo:
I mean, another highly visible thing is wind turbine blades. We supply a lot of glass into those blades. They're mostly glass. And as of now you've probably seen some pictures of those being landfilled. We're working on finding a solution to that as well. So those are some of the things that we're working on.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Yeah. When we really think about everything that's going out there in manufacturing, way beyond roofing, if everybody was doing this ... I mean, blades, what do we do with wind blades? What do we do with all these things? We need to figure out something, so I think that's exactly where the future is and it's exciting that we can be a part of it.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Well let's ... And, first of all, so I just want to remind everybody that this is an open forum, right? We want Q&A, we want you to ask questions, we want you to chat it up. Let us know. So before we get started, because we're going to go through really how this is working; as always, how this is helping your business. So roofing contracting companies out there why do you care about this, right? So we're going to go through that and we're going to share that.

Heidi Ellsworth:
But I do want to say Reed Hitchcock just came on in chat and Reed thank you. Thank you so much. Reed is with ARMA and wanted to let us know too that ARMA, and we know this because we've been seeing this out there, is doing huge amounts with asphalt roofing recycling also. They are hosting a virtual Asphalt Roofing Recycling forum that will take place via Zoom tomorrow. So this can be your week for recycling and sustainability. There's more information to be found on asphaltroofing.org, it's also on RoofersCoffeeShop under the ARMA directory, so you can find all that information there. Reed I'm really so happy you're on. Keep feeding us information as we go through, this is perfect.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Okay, Molly, let's start with you. We're going to get into the nitty gritty, we're going to kind of go down into the paving and stuff, but I'd like you to kind of give that big overview of, first of all, why is this important to contractors? Why is this important to the roofing industry? But really to a roofing company's business, sales, and marketing?

Molly Quinn:
Yeah. I mean, our whole shingle recycling program, on the roofing side, it's all about encouraging contractors to recycle but also then helping to connect them to resources, so that they can. When they raise their hand and they want to we're helping to make that easier. But yeah, so we have new marketing tools that support their efforts. It really will help them to connect with those homeowners who are discerning. Look, the demand for sustainable products ... I think everybody knows that that's booming and that is not going to slow down. Heidi you and I have done some trend work around generational trends. Millennials own the most homes.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Yes.

Molly Quinn:
I'm old, so that sounds ... I feel like, oh they're the up and ... No, they're here. They're not the up and comers, it's the Millennials' world right now. Gen Zs are going to be buying homes really soon and they are absolutely going to demand sustainable products. So in order for our folks to stay ahead they need to be able to have that story. So we do have a lot of tools now for that cause marketing that we really all need to have. We have brochures. We even have yard signs that are really great that you can say, in the middle of the job, "Hey, we recycle," so people know, neighbors can tell that those shingles that are getting put in that dumpster are actually going to go be recycled. So yeah, we're working on a lot of different things. And on Courtney's side, on the asphalt side, there's a lot of innovations that they're working on to make it easier to go into paving as well, to make sure that that end keeps flowing also.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Yeah. So we're going to keep coming back to this because really on the sales and marketing side of this, for any roofing company out here, every homeowner is going to want to know, "What are you doing with my old shingles?" Now maybe not today but they will tomorrow. So I think understanding how this whole process works is so important. So, Courtney, you've been working, you've been on the front end working with the asphalt. Can you just tell us, overall, at a high level what is the process of turning shingles into paving work? How does it work? How's this happening?

Courtney Rice:
Yeah. Let's take landfill out of the equation here. So if they are going to a shingle recycler coming off of the roof they'll go to that recycling plant that is specifically made to handle the shingle from the tear off. We'll take apart the materials that are ... Like the nails and other materials that don't go into the processing facility and any sort of abrasive materials. Then will be stockpiled at that shingle recycling yard until a contractor, a asphalt hot mix contractor, wants to come and pick them up to use them in their mix design. So they'll sit stockpiled there until they're picked up to be used in roads.

Heidi Ellsworth:
So we have ... Just so you know this has been going on ... Courtney you all have been working on it, you put your announcement out, since 2015. Nothing new. This is something that Owens Corning has been working on for a very long time. I would love to, to your point, bring Jim in and we have some pictures of what you just described. So Jim maybe you could talk to the crowd how this works, what you've seen. Because with Jim being in paving, and how he's taking what is recycling into paving, and what's important. So, Jim, take us off.

Jim Trost:
Sure. The picture you're seeing there is kind of a sample of what Courtney talked about, the ground shingles that go to the recycler that grind them and they screen them to typically like a 3/8 or a 1/4 inch topsized product. Then that's the material that they would stockpile and load out, and we would bring into our facilities to utilize in our process.

Jim Trost:
I know Mark touched on it a little bit earlier but just let me back up for a little bit of hot mix asphalt 101, just for your reference. The asphalt is basically an aggregate structure. It could be limestone; granite; slag from recycling steel, steel making process, et cetera. That creates about 95% of the mixtures that we make, that aggregate structure. Then we have the liquid AC that comprises about the remaining 5% and that's kind of the glue that holds it together.

Jim Trost:
But kind of like Mark mentioned that 5%, by weight of liquid asphalt, is about 60% of the cost of the mixture, so it is very expensive and drives the cost of our product. Then we typically use recycled products on a regular basis, one being recycled asphalt pavements, which make up about 95% aggregate, 5% liquid asphalt, just like the mixtures that we're making. Then the recycled asphalt shingles are a little different in that they're about 75% aggregate and filler, and about 25% liquid asphalt. So that 25% liquid asphalt is where the big benefit for our industry comes in, is being able to offset some of that high cost virgin liquid asphalt with some of the recycled materials.

Jim Trost:
So how they get into our mix, getting back to that, is we basically get it delivered to our yards. It's best for us if we keep them covered up, so if you can advance ... It should be the next picture there. We have shelters like this set up where there you can see a stockpile of material that was brought into one of our plants. We keep it covered up because it tends to flow better in our process if it's dry. It can kind of clump together if it's wet and it also increases the drying costs for us. We can see up to ... These recycled shingles will hold up to like 15% to 20% moisture by weight if you allow them to get wet.

Jim Trost:
So basically from there we have a wheel loader and operator that grabs a bucketful of this material, and feeds it into a bin, and goes into a dryer and mixing drum that you see in this picture here. We're typically feeding in about 2% to 5% of recycled shingles. We have gone as high as seven and a half. Then our plant controls feed that material to get the right amount for the mixture that we're making, the mix design requirement, which would be that 2% to 5%. If you see on the left side of this picture is where our virgin aggregates come in. You see a conveyor going up to the top there, so that's our virgin stone that's coming from a local quarry. Goes in and that's being dried, and super heated, and then that super heated virgin aggregate then mixes with the recycled. And you can see a shoot there in the middle of the drum, that's where our recycled asphalt pavement comes in. Then the next one over, to the right of that, is where the recycled asphalt shingles come in.

Jim Trost:
So in the first part of that drum the virgin aggregates get heated up, super heated temperatures, that then mix with the recycled products; increases the temperature of those products, dries off any moisture that is in them, and then gets to the temperature that allows the AC in those recycled materials to be melted and mix all the components together, and blend it together into a homogenous mixture. From there where able to ... Then it gets discharged from this drum, goes up through a conveyor and stored in large silos, and then we load it out onto trucks, and then haul it to paving job sites. So that's kind of the process for us in a nutshell.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Well-

Molly Quinn:
So Jim tell me-

Heidi Ellsworth:
Oh go ...

Molly Quinn:
... what motivates you to use recycled content?

Jim Trost:
Kind of like what I mentioned that we're offsetting virgin liquid asphalt. Again, that's the most expensive component in our mixture, so we could not compete if we don't recycle. We're in the Chicago market, like I mentioned, it's very rare for us to make a mix that doesn't have recycled materials in it.

Molly Quinn:
So it's really cost-

Jim Trost:
Primarily recycled asphalt pavement but we also use recycled asphalt shingles.

Molly Quinn:
So it actually can cost less to even go through all of this process, depending on the price of that asphalt at any given time it can cost less to go through this process?

Jim Trost:
Correct. [crosstalk 00:22:49] I mean, the higher the virgin liquid asphalt that we're buying, where the market is there, the more advantageous it is to recycle more.

Molly Quinn:
Got it.

Heidi Ellsworth:
As you're looking at that what are some of the challenges of getting that recycled material from your different locations, because I know there's some challenges in there?

Jim Trost:
Yeah, there are challenges. That's why kind of we don't use it universally across the board. Number one is what you see the picture on the screen now, is a special feeder that we have to have. You can use a conventional feeder like we'd use for adding recycled asphalt pavement or the virgin aggregates into our mixtures but the problem is at those small percentages of 2% to 5% with a conventional volume metric feeder it becomes very difficult for us to control that with the accuracy we need to be able to hit specifications for the DOT and things like that. So what you see here is an actual feeder that's mounted on load cells that allows us to feed by weight depletion. So there is a significant investment for a company like ours to step up to this level of accuracy.

Jim Trost:
You can also see the conveyor that it feeds onto is covered up because the RAS is very fine, like you saw in the picture where I had it in my hand, and very lightweight. You get windy days it can create a housekeeping problem around our plants where you get fines blowing around everywhere, so that's why you see that conveyor is completely enclosed.

Jim Trost:
So, number one, you get some equipment issues that make it a little bit challenging. I had mentioned earlier about the covered stockpiles as well, to keep the moisture off, so that's one. Probably the biggest one is more on the mix design challenge standpoint. Agencies that we deal with, primarily here in Illinois, are moving towards performance specifications for our mixtures. By that we mean the requirements to prevent rutting of the pavement under high temperatures and to prevent cracking of the pavements that we lay down under low temperatures. And the criteria for controlling that cracking at low temperatures is primarily geared around the grading of the AC that goes into the mixtures, the liquid asphalt. So the harder materials tend to crack easier, the softer ones are more resistant.

Jim Trost:
And the challenge with RAS is that it's very valuable because of the liquid asphalt that it brings to the table but it's very much harder AC than what you typically see. They start with a harder AC when they're manufacturing the shingles but they also become more brittle over time as the material, the liquid asphalt that's in the shingles, is on a roof for 20, 30 years and oxidizes over time, becomes even more brittle. So that makes it difficult to pass some of the performance testing that we do. So the solution to that is we either have to put additives in or we have to mix with a softer virgin asphalt grade, which then the softer grades tend to demand a higher price, so that kind of starts to shift some of the benefit that we gain by putting it in. But the other side of that is if you don't do that then the mixtures become overall, with that harder asphalt, also become more of a challenge for the crews working with the hot mix asphalt on the roads, in terms of the workability of it and stuff like that. Tougher on the paving crews.

Jim Trost:
So that's probably the biggest issue that we have to deal with and what limits the amount of recycling of asphalt that we do. Part of that is around what the agencies that we deal with, like IDOT, allow us to do, in terms of using additives. When that becomes more open and allowing other additives to be used that may help the situation. The other aside part of that is not just the hardness of the asphalt but also the 200 mesh material, that very fines that are in, there's quite a bit of that in the recycled shingles and that's something that makes ... Something we have to deal with in the mix design process as well.

Jim Trost:
I think kind of the third thing would be around AC pricing. We talked about that. If the AC prices are low that takes away some of the justification for us to run the recycled shingles. I guess fourth, it's not an issue for us but I know that it is for some other areas, is supply availability. We're in the Chicago area, there's obviously a large market of shingles coming off of houses and other facilities. But you get into some of the other rural areas there may not be an adequate supply. We go through thousands of tons of recycled shingles every year, so if you don't have a consistent feed here a contractor's probably not going to make the investments required and deal with the recycling the shingles if they're not assured they're going to be able to have them available all the time.

Heidi Ellsworth:
That actually leads us to one of our questions that just came in. I think this is going to be a joint team effort here on answering some of this. But the question came in from Karla Ferguson. Karla thank you so much, it's a great question. She said, "Would the team address what efforts they are seeing in Colorado? There are currently limited shingles' recycling options happening due to the 2015 Colorado State policy from the Colorado Department of Public Health, and Environmental Hazardous Material and Waste Management," so this is going right to what you were just saying. "The Waste Management Division 2015. Colorado does not consider asphalt shingles a recyclable material due to the feed stock far exceeding demand." Karla would love to get involved in any of these efforts to help get more recycling. I'm not sure who would like to take that one first, maybe Jim kind of following up with what you said on lack of supply. Colorado has some issues.

Jim Trost:
Yeah. I may say that, for us, is kind of foreign because in our markets here we do not have a supply issue. So I think if anything there's probably a surplus material available here, so that has not been a problem at all for us but I know it is in other areas.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Yeah. Mark how would you ... In talking to Karla ... I mean, as these roofing contractors want to get involved in changing some of these policies can you talk to that?

Mark leo:
Yeah. I mean, I think it's a great example of how on a topic like this there's lots of different ways to look at it. I believe that from the Colorado policy making point of view their opinion is that, "A, if we want to prevent shingles from going into landfills the best way to do that is for you guys to create shingles that last longer." The theory there being that if it lasts 50 years there's just going to be less shingles going into a landfill. So they're looking for a high impact resistance, so if a hailstorm comes through it doesn't damage shingles so they need to be torn off and landfilled or what have you. So, that's one approach.

Mark leo:
At the same time if the idea is that there's not a significant demand for the recycled streams that come out of a recycling process then the whole thing is inviable. So some of the things that we're doing, from our side, is looking at creating demand. So whether it's a product like what Jim uses in his process, which we call RAS, that's one use. We're looking at ways to take a similar type of recycling process and extract those individual components out of that material, so you could ... There is technologies out there where you might be able to recover liquid asphalt that could be used back into, say, our manufacturing process where you could put it into new shingles. You can recover those granules in a similar way. There's a lot of work that goes into that. It's not a very simple process but we're working on ways to reuse that material. Then there's also the other lower value components, like just fillers that'll come out of that, which you can also find uses for.

Mark leo:
So as we approach this problem we're looking at it from a lot of different angles, including creating demand for the streams that come out of these processes. Where we hope to build viable business models where you can convince a regulatory body, like those in Colorado, that actually yes these are recyclable materials and in fact it's a good business, and a logical circular economy stream there.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Molly, so Karla's with J&K Roofing, what's ... Kind of looking from your side of it how can she get involved with other contractors, with other situations, to work through some of this or with Owens Corning?

Molly Quinn:
Yeah. It's really just a matter of reaching out to us and letting us know that you're interested. One of the hopes that we had for this call is to find folks who are interested like this, who want to get involved, who don't know where to start. We can start to help guide them. What effort do you want to put in? If affecting policy is something that you would like to put some efforts towards we will take people, right? We are working on that as well. That is one of our avenues but that takes people. That takes people just being members of a committee, joining, taking a part, being a voice, being there in Colorado to join those committees. So if there are folks that want to get involved just let us know and we want to keep directing and kind of connecting, hearts and minds, together so that we can keep this initiative going.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Kind of to follow that up Jim Ferguson has just asked, "Is Owens Corning developing a program to accept shingle scrap at your plants?"

Molly Quinn:
I'm not sure who ... Mark or ...

Mark leo:
Yeah, I can take it. As we discussed, I mean, we have within our Circular Economy team a shingle recycling core team. What we're doing right now is we're investigating different ways to solve this problem. As mentioned it's going to be multi-pronged approach. So yes, of course we want to increase the amount of shingles that go into paving. We're looking at recovering materials for uses in our own plants and then, potentially, we can supply other manufacturers with that material as well. Do we have the capability? I mean, you see this heavy equipment that's pictured, I mean this in the hot mix side but similar type equipment is used to break down the shingles, and grind, and things like that. We don't have that type of equipment at our plants now. For us the logical way to build a program like this is to work with shingle recyclers who have this type of equipment and build ... We're running pilot programs and things like that.

Mark leo:
If you look 10, 15 years down the road does Owens Corning own a yard outside of our plants where we'll actually accept shingles, and recycle them, and send them into different streams? I see that as a possibility but it's we're not there yet. So not currently but the way we look at it is all these types of different business models are on the table and we're investigating all of them.

Heidi Ellsworth:
We just have tons of questions coming in, so I want to keep going to that. Sherri Miles, hello Sherri, so glad you're on. She wanted to know, "Is there a list of locations where these recycling centers and asphalt companies who accept this material?"

Courtney Rice:
I know that you can find on-

Heidi Ellsworth:
Courtney?

Courtney Rice:
Yeah. I know that you can find on, I think, shinglerecycling.org a list of recyclers. I'm not sure of companies or contractors that are currently pulling from any of those locations, but there is a list on shinglerecycling.org by state who is recycling.

Mark leo:
Yeah. Also, as a part of our shingle recycling program at Owens Corning we use Earth911, so it's just Earth911.com. That is a resource that maintains a database of recyclers in your local area anywhere in the country, so you can go there and find ... Just put in your zip code and you can find recyclers who are active.

Heidi Ellsworth:
I mean, if you do not ... To Sherri's question, maybe there are not any recycling centers in her area how do you start having those conversations with the different recycling companies out there? Maybe Jim, you work with your groups in Chicago, how did they get started?

Jim Trost:
I think that they started primarily when the liquid asphalt prices were so high and I think some particular company saw the benefit to this, and saw the potential, and started up several yards in the Chicago area. One of them is kind of one of our neighbors, so they're right next door to us. I think it's just having the markets and knowing that there was a significant supply in the area, and that there was the demand for hot mix asphalt.

Heidi Ellsworth:
It may be one of those things where when you start, in your community, talking to paving contractors, finding out where they're getting their recycled material from, talking to the recyclers out there, all this different downstream. A lot of that is being documented by Owens Corning on how to reach out. Is that correct? Courtney I'd like to take that to you. I mean, to have that discussion to actually ... If it's not in your area to start it.

Courtney Rice:
Right. I mean, that's really where innovation comes in on our part and how we can help our customers incorporate more recycle into their mixtures. I think there's a lot going on in the industry to help with that, with the incorporation of recycling agents or, like Jim spoke about earlier, softer asphalt materials. Really at the end of the day though it does come down to the economics but we are driving that initiative, specific to our customers in the area.

Heidi Ellsworth:
In the paving? Yeah.

Courtney Rice:
Yes.

Jim Trost:
And I would say, if I could just interject there? The whole sustainability initiative is alive and well, and growing, in our industry as well. So we foresee, as some states have already gone to, where the sustainability factor is going to be worked in along with pricing; where typically now it's hard dollar bidding for some public contracts, where that is going to start to include some of the sustainability stuff and environmental product declarations on our mixes. So the more recycling the more advantage you will maintain. So will it be your bid is based, or your award of a bid is based, say 50% on your cost, 50% on the sustainability factor. So we're continually looking for ways of how we can make our plants more efficient and how can we make our mixes more sustainable? So it's something that's alive and well in our industry as well as with the shingle industry.

Heidi Ellsworth:
What a cool marketing campaign, to get with your local paving contractor and say, "Hey, we're recycling, they're using recycled material, we're in your community." I mean, I haven't seen anything like that, Molly, have you?

Molly Quinn:
Yeah, I don't know if the two have joined forces quite like that. But yeah, I mean, look we're always excited about any marketing angle, at least from a sales perspective, that we can take. Cause marketing is big but this isn't greenwashing, this is really happening. When we talk about it we're telling you actual initiatives that are happening.

Molly Quinn:
The other thing I think I want to mention though, I think it's just important to say that this isn't the panacea, right? Shingles going into paving is only one avenue. Mark talked about the fact that we're working on lots and lots of avenues because we know that even if we used it for every single road, based on the percentages that can go in, that's still only going to be a fraction of what's put on roofs and what goes into landfills.

Molly Quinn:
So while we know there are ways this can work better, there's things we can do to make it easier for Jim and more people like Jim to want to participate; there are ways we can affect policy; there are ways we can motivate a contractor, a roofing contractor to participate; this is just one piece of the puzzle. So this isn't going to be the one thing that fixes everything either. I think it's important that we recognize that while this is an awesome program we know that this isn't ... There are some things that get in the way. Sometimes it's just pure economics of how much asphalt costs. And those things are tough to effect, so we are affecting this from all kinds of different angles.

Heidi Ellsworth:
So Molly ...

Jim Trost:
I know ... Just kind of tacking onto that real quick. I know our supplier has done some work with some rural roads in mixing some recycled shingles in with just stone that's placed on a rural road to help limit dust, and things like that. So outside of hot mix asphalt other things that they're looking at doing for other avenues where there can be a benefit from it.

Heidi Ellsworth:
I know we need those in Camp Sherman, Oregon. I can tell you that I'm all for it. We need to get our dusty roads down. Kind of going back, Molly I'd like to aim this at you, this is from Kathy DeMateo. I hope I said your name right Kathy. "Can we get a roofing company who has implemented recycling shingles into their process willing to share their cost associated with that decision?"

Molly Quinn:
We probably could. Somebody who might be willing. I think we have some assumptions that I think Mark were you saying it's maybe only about $25 more a roof? It is more, so there's a ... We have to say, "Hey guys, usually it costs more for a roofing contractor to make sure that those shingles go to a recycling center versus just going into a dump." It does take some effort. When we've looked at it the cost is fairly, I guess, nominal but the benefit is the big thing. That's the thing we're trying to push. That's why we have that marketing support to say this is something that's going to be really important. You, as a roofing contractor, are building your brand and who you are. And to these homeowners. These homeowners, again, are starting to demand sustainable materials and if you don't have a story you may end up losing out now. So the folks that are on the forefront of this, who are recycling and finding ways to recycle, tend to be on the forefront of a lot of different trends.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Yeah. I can tell you ... I don't believe, I'm not seeing my list here but I don't think they're on the call this morning, but Interstate Roofing out of Portland, Oregon I know has been recycling for years. Portland has a really good recycling program there. I know they have put it in their literature, they talk to homeowners about it. But it's also one of those things, in all transparency, for the contractors that goes up and down with popularity. So Kathy what we'll do ... I know Megan just said she was going to put this out to everybody on the call. If there's anybody out there who is recycling let us know right now but if not we're going to do that, from RoofersCoffeeShop, along with Owens Corning, reaching out and asking contractors to share their stories about this. So that we can start getting some more success stories on how this is working because we know it's working, it's just not everybody, I think, is talking about it, which is what Coffee Conversations is all about.

Molly Quinn:
Yeah. We do have several in our network that are recycling. We give out rewards for folks that are supporting sustainability initiatives, so we reward our contractors for that as well. So we certainly have a lot of folks that are doing it. I would encourage them that you could even pass it on to the homeowner. You could see it as something that you need to do to be competitive because pretty soon it is going to be table stakes but in the meantime there's a lot of homeowners that for another couple hundred extra dollars the pride of having that sign in your yard that says, "I'm using a roofer that recycles and these roofs aren't going into a landfill," I think you're going to see folks that are valuing that more and more. And they're already-

Heidi Ellsworth:
[crosstalk 00:46:00] Yeah. We've seen it.

Molly Quinn:
Yeah.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Yeah. We've seen it in the numbers. It's definitely ... Just in the studies of this, like Molly said earlier, the Millennials and the Gen Zs. So Courtney, question for you, and this is from John. John I'm just getting your last name here. Well I'm going to say John because it cut me off here a little bit but, "Are the glass fibers in the shingle ground up and used with the recycled asphalt or are they separated out of the asphalt?"

Courtney Rice:
Yeah. So, when it goes to the shingle processing what is left in there is a small percentage of fibers, typically anywhere between 3% and 12% of fibers that are still left in that ground up shingle.

Jim Trost:
One thing that I'll say is that that tends to be a benefit for us, on the hot mix side. So we produce kind of a high end pavement called an SMA or a stone matrix asphalt. We typically would have to ... Before recycled shingles we would have to add a cellulose fiber because it's very rich in liquid asphalt and to be able to keep that from draining down from the mix we'd have to add a fiber to it. We've been able to take advantage of those fibers in the recycled shingles to eliminate that, which helps us out on cost. So we virtually produce almost all of our SMA mixtures with recycled shingles.

Heidi Ellsworth:
That's awesome. See? There's good news coming from all of this. First of all I just want to say, and this is going back earlier but I just want to make sure it's out there, Karla I'm passing your information on. We have it, we'll get it to Molly and Mark. She's excited to work with you all about Colorado and for her company continuing that.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Gary Lininger did ask, and I think this is a really good question because it's really at the heart of it, "Is it not a challenge to get contractors to recycle?" So really getting this across that this is a benefit. We started this out the whole conversation was, "Why should I care. Why is it important?" Molly I would love for you to kind of ... I know we talked about it a little bit earlier but what are some of the challenges you're seeing with getting contractors to recycle? And when they do, the ones that you have seen who are starting to use the materials, and starting to use it in their sales and marketing, how's that working?

Molly Quinn:
Yeah. Gary thank you for the question. Gary is one of our sales managers. Look Gary, this is ... Some of this is on us, right? It's on us, it's on you, it's on me to help them to understand the value of participating in these programs. Our contractors we have to show them these trends, the trends of who these homeowners are, what they demand, and what they value. They value buying from companies who care. They value buying from companies that have a cause. They value sustainability in an enormous way. It's a very big deal. So homeowners are going to be demanding this. One of the ways you can help to convince somebody to participate, I don't know how else to say it, but maybe scare them into knowing that this is going to be a trend and it's not going away. So if they want to be on the forefront of this, and really build their brand and really be seen as somebody who cares, just from a sheer cause marketing standpoint this is a great thing to participate in.

Molly Quinn:
What I would encourage is find folks who may have expressed some interest, understand what the opportunities are in their territory. So this is where you can go on Earth911, this is where you can contact us internally. Our marketing team is very in the know of where recycling is happening and where it isn't, so you can connect with them to understand just how viable it is and what the costs would look like. So the costs are always different depending on how many recyclers and how close they are. I think it'd be important for you to understand that and then you can start to understand that cost value proposition with that contractor that you're working with.

Heidi Ellsworth:
I just want to bring up too ... And I don't like to dwell on fear or on pain but sometimes you just got to bring it right out there, there is going to come a day when landfills will stop taking roofing tear off. I mean, we just know it. The landfills are filling up and it's going to probably be easier to say, "Well construction debris, no too much. We can't do that." We need to have other options. It's much like we've talked about for many years about technology, if you're not using technology you're being left behind. I really see this through what the public is going to demand and what is going to happen, potentially, with our landfills and limiting that use is that if contractors aren't starting today it's going to be a big problem. Mark can you talk to that just a little bit?

Mark leo:
Yeah. Yeah, sure. I mean, it kind of reminds me of in politics they say, "Carrots cost money and sticks cost votes, and it's better to focus on the carrots." So how that relates to this I would say it's about celebrating successes and focusing on the benefits. Jim was just talking about the glass fibers that actually help in mix designs, that's great. There's regions where there's a high demand for shingle recycling and it's not there, so in some cases you see homeowners really demanding it and you see contractors coming to us, and saying, "Hey, there's not a great infrastructure of recycling in this area. Can you help us? Is there a way that we can get these programs going?" That's what we like to do is ... I've been working in the sustainability world for a while now and one of the things I've learned is until something becomes table stakes or it becomes policy you focus on the people who have the passion to move these things forward, and you build pilots, and you build programs around that energy, and you harness that. So, that's what we're doing.

Mark leo:
And we like to see when contractors reach out to us, and they're interested in working on this, there's lots of work to be done. We love to hear from them, we love to build ideas together around, "Okay, what kind of local pilot program can we do in this area to connect a contractor with a recycler and a paver?" And package some of these success stories into something that we can talk about and communicate to the market with. I think that's a really good approach that we've seen success in the past and we want to continue to build.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Molly, same thing. I think you work with contractors every day, you're always pushing the boundaries of think ahead, think to the future and bring ... Whether it's diversity or sustainability, or all of these things, what are you seeing on these trends of the contractors who are bringing this in what a difference that's making?

Molly Quinn:
I mean, it's making a huge difference. All I can say is those folks that are participating ... Gosh, I mean, I don't know the statistics but just anecdotally looking at our network those that are participating ... And also marketing it, right?

Heidi Ellsworth:
Right.

Molly Quinn:
Using the fact that they're participating to build their brand and who they are they're the winners. They're doing really well. I don't see anybody who's participating in these programs, and marketing it, who's maybe just holding the line. They're all growth minded, they're a lot of our top contractors, to be honest. And they've used it to set themselves apart, so if ... Yeah?

Heidi Ellsworth:
I was just going to say keep ... Because I was going to say and think about the employees.

Molly Quinn:
Right.

Heidi Ellsworth:
I mean, as we're talking about labor, and retention, and recruitment who wouldn't want to work for a company that is doing this kind of sustainability?

Molly Quinn:
Absolutely. I mean, again a lot of our generational data we showed is who they want to work for. They want to work for companies who care. They want to work for companies who are sustainable. "Wow, do I want to work for a company that's just putting a bunch of stuff in a landfill or do I want to work for a company who sees this problem, owns it, and is doing something about it?" So absolutely it is huge for attracting labor. Look, people are starting ... In general there's a call to action from groups, from people, to hold manufacturers accountable for the end of the life of their product now. We can't just make it and forget about it. We know that. Owens Corning takes ownership of that. We recognize it. That's why we're working to figure it out.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Yeah. That is great. Well I can't believe this hour has gone so fast. It always does with such great conversation. I do want to remind everybody, I just think our timing is perfect ... I really wish I could say this was totally planned but the timing is perfect that ARMA is having that virtual Asphalt Roofing Recycling forum tomorrow. That is another resource. We've talked about a lot of them, 911 and all the different things, but use ... Just actually even Googling and finding out what other contractors are doing around the country. I'm going to give a call out to Megan, she just put this in the notes, that is saying that she posted an article from Interstate Roofing about recycling. I have to say I know about this because I worked with them and I kind of helped them with this program many years ago. Many, more years than I want to say, but they've been working at this for a long time. So checkout what other contractors are doing.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Then I also want to ... Thank you Karen for pointing this out: Mycocycle, Joanne Rodriguez who is an amazing leader in recycling using mushrooms. I know that sounds crazy but it works. She is also presenting tomorrow at ARMA. So a lot of great resources and information is out there, starting with this amazing group from Owens Corning. So thank you all so much for being here today and for sharing your wisdom. Mark any last words about the circular economy and where we're going?

Mark leo:
Yeah. I would say, I mean, I agree with you. This group will all be at ARMA tomorrow and we'll be participating in the forum, and come join us. I would acknowledge that this is a journey and we're early in the journey. I don't want to come across as saying that we've got all the solutions but it takes the whole industry to participate in this, so we invite everyone to be a part of it. We're looking for partnerships, we're looking to work together, so these are the types of forums that we encourage everyone to participate in and we really appreciate it.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Yeah. I just want to say to everybody listening this is just one part of it. We really wanted to bring in the paving side of it, so Jim thank you so much for being here. Anybody in roofing usually just loves to see how other people do things, so you sharing that process today I thought was really cool and really gives people a visual of where those roofs are going, and how you're utilizing them, so thank you for being on the show today.

Jim Trost:
My pleasure. Thanks for inviting me.

Heidi Ellsworth:
It was so good. And Courtney keep up the good work. We got to make this connection between the asphalt and the paving, and the roofing, and you are really the core. You're right in the middle of it. Thank you so much. Any last thoughts?

Courtney Rice:
No. Thank you. I appreciate the conversation, it was good, so I appreciate it. Thanks.

Heidi Ellsworth:
That's great. Finally, Molly thank you. Thank you Owens Corning for sponsoring. Molly thank you for working with us on this. You are just constantly an inspiration. Any last call to actions to the contractors who are watching and how to get ahold of you, what to do?

Molly Quinn:
Yeah. I mean, part of this whole call is a call to action. Reach out to us, reach out to your sales rep and say, "Hey, I'm interested. I don't know where to start." We're learning too, so we'll say, "Okay, well let's look at this together. Let's figure out what the next step is. Is there a recycling area? Isn't there? Could there be? Should there be? Do you want to get involved in policy change? If you do then let's market the fact that you're getting involved in the policy change. Let's talk about that and make that a big deal, right?" So just raise your hand and come talk to us, and we want to connect people. We've already been doing a ton of what we call voice of the customer work but really just talking to people all over the country about what is going on, what's working, what's not working. So we want to put all the pieces together, we want to be that central hub that can help you to put the pieces together and start to make this work. At least this one angle that I'm talking about with the paving. Yeah.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Well I think everyone should stay tuned. I know there's going to be a lot more coming from this group because as we've already said it's about everything. There's a lot of different ways. It's not just roads, although I really do want some of that on our country dirt roads please. So there's a lot more coming down the pike. Thank you all so much. Again, thank you to Owens Corning. Thank you for sponsoring this, thank you for all you do, it's so amazing. I also want to say thank you to Michelle, and Eric, and Jim, and all of the people who are commenting right now about what great information this was and how much they enjoyed it. So thank you all for being here today.

Heidi Ellsworth:
I have to make sure that we also talk a little bit about our next Coffee Conversations. So our next Coffee Conversation is on November 11th and I am so ... I mean, I am over the moon about this one. It is going to be celebrating veterans, because it's right around Veterans Day, but it's going to be celebrating women veterans. So these are women veterans in roofing. We have two ladies who are running businesses, working in businesses. They are doing amazing things as veterans within roofing. They're going to come talk about that, how important to get more veterans, all veterans, but also women veterans to come into the roofing industry. That's all being led by Mandy McIntyre from 1st Choice. She's with National Women in Roofing. She's one of our influencers. She's been doing a lot of work to start gathering, and having the women out there who have served our country, thank you, to come and visit with all of us. So do not miss this. This is going to be an amazing November 11th, 7:00.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Thank you all for being here. Thank you for being a part of this conversation and we will see you in a couple weeks. So everybody have a great day. Thank you so much.

Molly Quinn:
Bye. Thanks Heidi.

Mark leo:
[crosstalk 01:01:38] Bye.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Thanks. Bye.

Mark leo:
Bye.

Molly Quinn:
Thank you too Megan. Bye.



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