News & Events

Abilene Business Helps Roofs Go Green

Shingles Recycled To Be Used On Roads

Lots of green roofing material from Abilene is hitting the road.

Not all of the asphalt shingles are the color green, but they're all green in the sense that they're being recycled, to the advantage of the environment, by a new business in town.

Robert King's Alamo Recycle Centers of San Antonio opened a location here on July 5 to take tear-off asphalt shingles, otherwise bound for the landfill, and process them into recycled asphalt. He sells the material to the Texas Department of Transportation to mix with virgin asphalt to use on road construction.

The processed product looks like black coffee grounds, he said. Recycled asphalt, including chunks of old pavement and recycled shingles, can make up 20 to 25 percent of an asphalt mix for road paving, he said.

"Everybody is so green-minded, wanting to be environmentally responsible today," said the Abilene High School and Texas A&M University graduate. He is the son of Bob and Marie King, who moved from Abilene to San Antonio several years ago.

However, feeling good about greenness is not the only advantage to recycling the asphalt shingles, King said. It's also good business.

Tipping fees at Alamo Recycle Centers are much lower than at the landfill, King said, and the wait to unload is usually shorter, saving both time and money.

Each ton of recycled asphalt shingles saves about two barrels of oil, another environmental plus, King said.

In San Antonio, his company recycles about 7,000 tons of shingles monthly, the equivalent of 14,000 barrels of oil per month, and 168,000 a year.

In Abilene, King said he expects to process about 2,000 tons a month, once the backlog of shingles from roofs damaged by the Easter Day hailstorm in Abilene and vicinity disappears, he said.

"Our estimate is, it will be at least 12 months before it is even caught up," King said.

King said he is aggressively promoting his business to area roofing companies. He expects business from as far away as Sweetwater because of the lower cost of offloading at the recycling plant compared with a landfill.

The lower recycling fee favors the environment in yet another way: minimizing the temptation to illegally dump the castoff shingles in the country or on vacant lots, he said.