PROCESSWEST Magazine Online

B.C. company takes front stage repurposing single-use shingles

September 16, 2021   Don Horne




Northstar Clean Technologies is entering the circular economy diverting asphalt shingles, utilizing its Bitumen Extraction and Separation Technology (BEST)  process to separate the liquid asphalt.

The $45 million clean technology company is focused on the recovery and repurposing of single-use asphalt shingles, separating the liquid asphalt, fiber and aggregate sands from discarded or defective asphalt roofing shingles destined for landfill.

A telephone survey of 13 Vancouver, B.C.-based roofing companies confirmed that environmental concerns have spread to the frontlines of asphalt roofing industry.

“Every single shingle that gets torn off here in Vancouver goes straight to the landfill,” confirmed Will Franklin, owner of Canuck Roofing, “That’s definitely a huge waste and the wrong thing to do.”

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Franklin reports that the tipping fees have tripled in the last 10 years.

“Accessibility is going to be a big thing,” adds Franklin, “The ideal scenario would be a recycling company that picks up the shingles themselves, at a lower rate.”

Northstar’s new CEO Aidan Mills has a hybrid technical and financial background with 30 years of experience, including engineering, commercial and strategy roles at British Petroleum (BP), Goldman Sachs, Husky Energy and MEG Energy.

“Our clean technology solution is expected to have a significant environmental impact by reducing landfill usage, reducing the CO2 impact of asphalt, fiber and aggregate sand production, and contributing to the circular economy,” confirms Mills.

Northstar has a facility in Delta, B.C. in the commercialization phase with steady-state production expected in Q4 2021.

ROOF has five expected revenue streams: 1. tipping fees (paid by waste haulers and roofing contractors), 2. Sale of Asphalt, 3. Sale of Fiber, 4. Sale of Aggregate and 5. Carbon credits.

Although asphalt shingles may not have the aesthetic cachet of copper roofs or cedar-shakes, they are the most popular roofing material in North America due to the low cost, low weight, and durability. Asphalt shingles represent over 80 per cent of the roofs constructed in North America today.

The market size for asphalt shingles in the U.S. is (CDN)$2.2 billion.

An asphalt shingle roof typically has a 15-year lifespan, after which it gets torn off and replaced. 12 million tons of asphalt shingles are sent to landfills annually in North America with only 1 million tons recycled back into road pavement. That translates into mountains of dirty asphalt shingles into North American landfills every year.

The “tipping fees” (surcharges paid to dump the old shingles) have been steadily increasing as governments around the world advocate for a more “circular economy” while racing to reduce landfill waste.

“The circular economy provides a tangible framework for reducing our impacts, protecting ecosystems and living within the means of one planet,” states the 2020 Circularity Gap Report.

As landfills reach capacity, federal governments around the world are pushing diversion programs to the forefront.


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