Recycling of Single Ply Roofing Systems

There are three potential sources of waste material in the single ply roofing industry:

New product 

Manufacturing waste, off-cuts, seconds etc.

Used product 

Clean – waste from training

Post-service product

Mechanically fixed – degraded but relatively clean.

Adhered – degraded and contaminated

SPRA recognises that the percentage of manufacturing waste reduces with improved technique, but it may become more significant as the market grows, however, very little production is actually based in the UK. The major source of recyclable produce from single ply roofing is in the post-service product. Volumes will rise as the rapid market growth of the 1980’s reaches the end its service life. This potential growth will be off-set by the popularity of overlays to the existing system, one of the unique advantages of single ply technology which avoids exposure of the building to the elements during refurbishment. The significance of this option is in turn affected by Building Regulations, because mandatory improvement in thermal performance often requires removal of the existing waterproof membrane.

Single ply membranes comprise high quality polymer, which is recyclable. Because UV-resistance is critical to roofing membranes and is reduced during service, only a small proportion of used product (<15%) can be added to new product. However it can be processed into other high-value products. SPRA has already run trials in the UK and we are working with a major waste handling and logistics partner to develop a nationwide take-back scheme.

Roofcollect® and Recovinyl®

Roofcollect is a logistics and funding system operated by the German DUD trade association. It works closely with Recovinyl which has a similar role in other plastics industries. Post-consumer (and new off-cut) membrane is transferred from site to re-processors and recycled as secondary product. These schemes operate for roofing membranes in mainland Europe.

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