Northwest Shingle Recyclers takes waste on the road
By Erik Siemers
Northwest Shingle Recyclers returns used roofing shingles to asphalt roads.
Editor's note: Northwest Shingle Recyclers was a finalist in the Sustainable Business Oregon Innovation Awards for product. Read about other award winners here.
It’s as simple as it sounds.
Asphalt, made from oil, is used to make roads. It’s also used to make roof shingles.
But only one of those things is something people eventually throw away.
So it makes sense that someone would come along and find a way to take used shingle and turn them into roads.
Except nobody did, at least not with the same amount of success that has come to Portland-based Northwest Shingle Recyclers.
In just a year, the company has built not only a business, but a following — enough to allow it to open a second location in Tigard in September to serve the metro area’s Southwest region.
“I think (someone) should have come up with this 20 years ago,” said Kerry McKinney, the year-old company’s general manager.
The company charges customers $68 per ton to dump excess asphalt shingles at their Southeast Portland recycling center at 6110 S.E. 111th Ave.
From there, Northwest Shingle Recyclers’ staff — the company employs 8 — will remove ancillary material such as metal flashing or pieces of plastic to provide clean asphalt.
|View all SBO award winners | See photos from the event|
What remains is driven out to the company’s portable grinder housed in Canby in close proximity to an asphalt plant.
The shingles are ground into a powder and given to the asphalt plant which, as McKinney puts it, “makes highway out of it.”
“We’re making asphalt to re-do roads, re-do neighborhoods,” he said.
Though the business started slowly after it launched in August 2010, McKinney said advertising and word-of-mouth marketing helped increase business.
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