With its European counterparts blazing the trail, the North American vinyl (PVC) roofing industry has announced a new phase in its commitment to environmental sustainability through recycling. The Vinyl Roofing Division of the Chemical Fabrics & Film Association has initiated a feasibility study to evaluate strategies for making postconsumer recycling viable on a broad scale in North America. Member manufacturers intend to combine existing postconsumer recycling technologies with logistical expertise to limit vinyl’s contribution to landfill waste. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), construction and demolition waste totals an estimated 136 million tons annually.
Skyrocketing raw material costs, higher landfill tipping fees, legislation to restrict disposal of construction materials and an architectural community that demands the lightest possible environmental footprint are all leading the way toward the mainstreaming of postconsumer recycling. Vinyl is the only roofing material that has been demonstrated to be recyclable back into roofing product at the end its life.
A sustainable postconsumer recycling strategy requires high-quality reclamation in the teardown, reprocessing efficiency and a ready customer base for the recycled product, all addressed on a large scale. For information, visit www.vinylroofs.org.