"Road to recycling" ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, December 24, 2004

Construction & Demolition Recycling Magazine: "Missouri Takes Lead in
Shingle Recycling" by Dan Krivit, April 5, 2005

St. Louis Contruction News & Review: "Peerless Resource Recovery Is Giving a New Definition to 'Rooftop Parking,'" March-April 2005

March 7, 2005

Learn How to Cost-effectively Recycle Roofing Shingles into Asphalt at Upcoming Seminar

Participants at an upcoming recycling seminar will learn how to bring new meaning to the term "roof-top" parking.

Peerless Resource Recovery, in conjunction with the St. Louis - Jefferson Solid Waste Management District and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, is hosting a seminar for architects, engineers, builders, owners and construction companies that use or recommend asphalt as a paving material. "Roofs to Roads" will showcase the benefits of turning tear-off roofing shingles from construction landfills into asphalt hot mix or aggregate base. The seminar begins at 4:00 PM on March 29th and concludes at noon on March 30th. It is being held at the Missouri Botanical Garden’s Monsanto Lecture Hall, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, in St. Louis.

"More than 276 million pounds of tear-off roofing shingles are dumped into Missouri landfills every year," said Dale Behnen, co-owner of Peerless Resource Recovery and the sponsor of the seminar. "Until recently, these shingles simply took up landfill space. However, many states, including Missouri, are seeing the value of recycling these shingles as asphalt base or aggregate. Our goal with the Roofs to Roads seminar is to educate the design and construction trades on how to make it happen and how they can benefit from it."

Tear-off roofing shingles are made primarily of asphalt, which makes them an ideal substitute for virgin materials in both pavement bases and hot mixes. The recycled shingles also work well for road patch repair. "The potential for this application is enormous," said Roger Brown, vice president of Pace Construction Company, a St. Louis area road and bridge construction company with a great deal of experience using recycled shingles in asphalt pavements. Brown said that recycled shingles do not add to the cost of traditional asphalt pavement mixes. "If we are able to generate some momentum in the acceptance of this practice, I think we could even see some cost savings," he added.

Behnen said the Roofs to Roads seminar will feature several expert speakers from other states, including Ohio, Maine and Minnesota, which have had success with recycling roofing shingles.

One Ohio recycler, Steven Johnson, who owns Roof to Road, LLC, a Columbus, Ohio asphalt recycling business, has seen steady growth in this area and sees more in the near future. "As soon as local governments realize the potential this process has—not only to save landfill space, but to create more resilient pavements— we’ll be able to generate cost efficiencies all-around. The roofers will have lower demolition costs and the roads will actually cost less and last longer," said Johnson. He added that paving companies also would save money and be more profitable as a result. Johnson will be speaking about recycling and marketing tear-off shingles.

Likewise, New England states are seeing a growing acceptance of recycled shingles in aggregate base and hot mix. "We’ve found that recycled shingles actually enhance the durability of the base material by creating a more flexible structure. What’s more, there are some compelling financial considerations that make it an excellent option," said Carl Wight, Quality Control & Research and Development Manager of Commercial Paving & Recycling Company, LLC of Scarborough, Maine. His company has recycled hundreds of thousands of tons of roofing shingles throughout New England for more than 8 (eight) years. He will talk about the dynamics of the shingle recycling process.

Other speakers at the Roofs to Roads seminar include Joe Schroer, field materials engineer with the Missouri Department of Transportation; Dan Krivit, owner of Krivit & Associates, a St. Paul, Minnestoa shingle recycling consultant; John Adelman, CEO of Commercial Paving & Recycling Company and a member of the board of Construction Materials Recycling Association; Roger Brown, vice president of Pace Construction Company; and Dale Behnen, co-owner of Peerless Resource Recovery.

The seminar will feature a cocktail and hors d’oeuvres reception on Tuesday evening, March 29th. A continental breakfast will be served the following morning. Participants may take a guided tour of a recently built road using recycled tear-off shingles at the Antire Quarry on the afternoon of Wednesday, March 30th, following the conclusion of the seminar.

The seminar costs $60; however, participants who register by March 18 will pay only $40. To register, call Peerless Resource Recovery at 636-225-7000 or e-mail For more information, visit



Friday, 12/24/2004


Of the Post-Dispatch

The owner of a Valley Park landfill leads a campaign to incorporate scrap
roofing shingles into the asphalt used on highways. Few motorists spend time wondering what ingredients went into making the asphalt that helps their tires to grip the road.

Dale Behnen, co-owner of Peerless Landfill Inc. near Valley Park, is a
notable exception. She has led a crusade to change the asphalt-road recipe,
making it better for he environment.

The key ingredients in Behnen's plan are shingles torn rom roofs.

And in a few months, her efforts could culminate with a ignificant change in
road construction in Missouri.

Each year, Peerless, a construction and demolition landfill, receives about 25,000 to 30,000 tons of shingles, all of which are buried.

Most shingles, like asphalt, are a petroleum-based product. Rather than dump
old shingles into landfills, Behnen reasoned, why not grind them up and put
them into the asphalt-road mix?

The idea isn't novel. Several states allow road asphalt to nclude a mix of 5 percent to 10 percent of the shingles scrapped by manufacturers.

"It's a good product," said Timothy Townsend, a professor of environmental
engineering at the University of Florida and an expert in shingle recycling.

Furthermore, he said, putting cast-off shingles into asphalt roads "provides a way to re-use material that might otherwise end up in a landfill."

Minnesota is among the heaviest users of recycled scrap asphalt. Statewide, about 12,000 tons of asphalt shingles make their way annually into state and local roads, said Roger Olson, a research operations engineer for the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

Even so, Behnen's plan doesn't involve scrap shingles, which are never used and, therefore, relatively clean. She wants to use weathered shingles torn from roofs.

There's one big drawback: Tear-off shingles include a high volume of contaminants, which highway engineers call deleterious materials. These can include asbestos and nails and wood, all of which can compromise the integrity of the asphalt mix and roads.

"It's garbage in and garbage out," Townsend said.

That's why Minnesota doesn't allow tear-off shingles to be used in asphalt.

In theory, every bit of unwanted stuff can be removed from tear-off shingles. But reaching perfection would require teams of workers and loads of expensive equipment, making an asphalt road only slightly less expensive than a gold-plated highway.

Behnen enlisted the help of Pace Construction Co. of south St. Louis County,
a road builder that coincidentally had been looking at tear-off shingles,

Pace and Peerless have been working on a mix that contains some contaminants
without sacrificing road quality.

"The biggest problem we get with deleterious material is wood," said Roger Brown, vice president at Pace.

Unlike nails, wood cannot be extracted by magnets. And unlike plastic, it doesn't melt during the asphalt-mixing process.

Despite the challenge, Pace has come up with a mix that has held up in lab tests. This month, the mix was used to construct a half-mile private road for trucks at a quarry near Eureka.

Missouri highway officials believe that it's not only the first road in the state with a mix of tear-off shingles but also one of the first in the nation.

Brown is certain that the road will last, but he and Behnen need to convince the Missouri Department of Transportation. The agency's regulations apply only to state highway projects, but counties and local governments tend to adopt the same standards.

In short, if MoDOT doesn't sign off, the shingles probably will be buried.

The state's standards allow virtually no contaminants, said Joe Schroer, field-materials engineer for the agency.

But he and others are studying the Eureka road closely, checking for
abnormal weathering, pavement separation or cracking.

"Within the next several weeks, we should be able to decide what direction we want to take this," Schroer said. "From our standpoint, we would still like to see those foreign materials limited."

Behnen is hopeful that MoDOT will loosen its standard on deleterious materials. She has invested heavily in processing and grinding equipment, relying in part on grants from the St. Louis-Jefferson Solid Waste Management District.

"Our mission is to reduce the amount of waste being generated for disposal," said Dave Berger, executive director of the district. "A significant amount of waste is being generated by shingles."

Berger credits Behnen with getting MoDOT's attention on recycled shingles.

"If it wasn't for Dale's persistence, we wouldn't be here," he said. "Dale really did the heavy lifting to get this to come together."

Even if Behnen gets MoDOT's endorsement, she still has an uphill battle. The
economics of using recycled shingles remain uncertain.

Pace probably would avoid using tear-off shingles if it didn't lead to equal
or lower asphalt prices, Brown said.

"We'd like to be benevolent and help the environment, but it really makes it
attractive if you can make some money on it," Brown said.

For her part, Behnen acknowledges that she doesn't know where things will go with recycled shingles. "We're all inventing the wheel."

But she allows for the possibility that a half-mile quarry road represents the first small move toward much wider acceptance.

"We know how to grind it. We know how to screen it. We know how to stockpile
it," she said. "Right now, we need the markets."