An Asphalt Shingle Recycling Station Close Up - Gemaco Sales

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Gemaco Breaks Ground as British Columbia's First Asphalt Shingle Recycler

Gemaco Sales launched British Columbia's first licensed asphalt shingle recycling station in February, 2010. Based in the Vancouver area, Gemaco provides a win-win for roofers, landfill operations, the road building industry, the public at large, and the environment. With an estimated 80,000 tonnes of asphalt shingle material annually entering Vancouver area landfills, the company hoped to divert 70 percent of this material by 2015. (Please note that as of April 2015, the company has closed this facility, and is concentrating on processing shingles on a mobile basis at contractor yards and other large generation sites.)

With tippage fees lower than at landfill sites, Gemaco offers:

  • material diverted from crowded landfills
  • a lower cost solution for shingle disposal
  • a lower cost recycled material for road construction and kiln fuel

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Determination of Tippage at the Scale

Rick LeBlanc, licensed to About.com

Incoming shingle material may arrive from roofing companies, other contractors, recyclers and homeowners. Vehicles are scaled both on the way in and out to determine weight of material dropped and tippage charges.

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Dropping and Sorting of Incoming Material

Wood and cardboard must be sorted from shingle material. This is a picture of an unacceptable load. Rick LeBlanc, licensed to About.com

Inbound material is unloaded and inspected by Gemaco staff for foreign material, including wood, plastic, cardboard, metal and asbestos. Metal is sorted into a bin. The assorted material pictured above is an example of an unacceptable load, containing an excess of non-shingle material. The company hopes to eventually recycle the small amounts of non-shingle material that arrive on incoming loads, but is currently not able to reach this goal because soiled cardboard and plastic comingled with shingles. In the future, the company hopes that this material can be utilized as a bio-fuel.

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Shingle Grinding with the Rotochopper

Rick LeBlanc, licensed to About.com

Once sorted, shingle material is loaded into the Rotochopper RG-1 unit. The Rotochopper is designed to offer high volume performance with a minimum of wear-related maintenance.

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Output from Gemaco's Rotochopper

Rick LeBlanc, licensed to About.com

After grinding and screening of material, whether fibreglass or organic shingles, the result is a uniform sized granules. During processing, nails are magnetically removed from processed material with a cross belt magnet, resulting in clean product.

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From Roof to Roads - Clean Material Ready for Market

Hilary Hanna, Vice President Gemaco Sales. Rick LeBlanc, licensed to About.com

Processed material is ready for sale. Hilary Hanna, Vice President of Gemaco Sales, holds material. Recycled asphalt shingle material has been used very successfully when introduced into warm and hot asphalt mix.

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A Bright Future for Asphalt Shingle Recycling and Gemaco

Rick LeBlanc, licensed to About.com

Over 1.25 million tonnes of asphalt shingle material ends up in Canadian landfills annually. Asphalt shingle recycling plays an important role in diverting shingle material from landfills, while reducing disposal cost and providing low cost material for paving.

Gemaco Sales is paving the way for the growth of asphalt shingle recycling in British Columbia. For more information, visit www.gemacosales.com

Please note that while the Gemaco permanent location has closed, it is worth noting that the logistics of material movement always enter the decision in terms of whether to offer a mobile service or a service from a fixed location. It may make better sense for a roofing contractor to accumulate shingle material in their yard or at a local transfer station, and then have a mobile service process it, versus hauling loads to a permanent grinding location.