UBC Undergraduate Research

Investigating the barriers to asphalt shingle recycling within the City of Vancouver Weston, Thomas


This report aims to present the barriers and subsequent recommendations as to how the City of Vancouver could increase the diversion of asphalt shingles from landfills to recycling programs. The information included within the report, in addition to the final recommendations, are intended to inform the City of Vancouver on the issue of asphalt shingle recycling, and to develop and create appropriate policies that will increase the diversion of asphalt shingles from landfills to recycling programs. Organisation and Regulatory Barrier: The lack of organisation and communication with the different groups of importance within the recycled asphalt shingle (RAS) industry in Vancouver, has resulted in the lack of an appropriate process flow procedure and a great deal of separation within the industry itself. These circumstances mean that it is difficult to be able to prove the presence or absence of asbestos within the captured shingle material. Recommendation: A process flow procedure should be developed, incorporating input from all involved groups, to ensure that it is both acceptable and feasible. Perception Barrier: The perception of RAS as a ‘waste’ product, has prevented engineers and highway paving companies from utilizing RAS within their hot mix asphalt (HMA), as they do not want to work with products that are perceived to be inferior. Without appropriate resources documenting the utilization of RAS within current projects, this perception persists. Recommendation: The City of Vancouver should reclassify asphalt shingles from ‘waste’ products, to ‘recyclable materials’. Test data from projects currently utilizing RAS should be collected and used, and various test roadways utilizing RAS should be constructed, to prove its performance within the context of Vancouver. Market Barrier: Gemaco’s location in Delta coupled with the lack of significant incentives to deposit shingles at a recycling facility rather than at a landfill site, limits the size of the market and therefore the volume of shingles that are deposited at Gemaco’s facility. While at the moment distribution of the recycled shingles is limited, by addressing the barriers of organisation and perception, the future potential barrier of market will become more relevant. Recommendation: The attractiveness of depositing shingles at Gemaco’s facility rather than at landfill sites should be increased; Gamaco could consider offering pick-up services, bins to dump shingles at landfill sites and develop relations with certain bin companies. The City of Vancouver should offer incentives to recycle shingles, and should increase available information as to how to go about recycling shingles. This report draws the conclusion that the increased diversion of asphalt shingles from landfills to recycling programs is both important and beneficial, and can be realized by the implementation of these suggested recommendations.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada

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