OKC Officials Using Old Shingles To Repair Roads

Thursday, May 29th 2014, 7:44 pm
By: News 9

Old roof shingles -- They're trash to roofers after replacing those blown off from a storm, but what's one roofers trash is a city's treasure.

"30-year shingle. It's what you see on most homes," roofer David McNeal said.

McNeal works for First American Roofing and has spent the better part of his 25-year career on a roof. So, if you want to know just how many shingles one company uses per year, he knows.

"Couple hundred tons, we probably do about 80 percent storm damage or storm related," McNeal said.

With all of those shingles, Oklahoma City and its landfills only have so much room, which is why OKC Public Works Director Eric Wenger and the city decided to take the shingles from roof to road.

"It's almost certain there are recycled products in the street you are driving on today," Wenger said.

No need to worry about nails or other materials. The city checks for those before remixing and applying.

"There is some savings, but the bigger goal is we could reuse these products to keep them out of the landfills," Wenger said.

McNeal isn't the only one helping the city with green ideas.

"How can we have density and urbanism without having a negative imprint on the Earth," downtown developer Kirk Humphreys said.

Humphreys has a parking lot downtown made of what's called porous pavement, a surface created to increase rain water filtration and decrease runoff.

"We've had it for five years and not a penny of maintenance," Humphreys said.

The city will continue to monitor Humphreys' lot for possible projects in the future. As for McNeal, he and other residents now know when you see red for road construction, it's likely the city is just trying to go green.

"Anything we could keep out of the landfill that helps," McNeal said.

The city also has two other projects for gravel and asphalt. Both are taken from old sites, then remixed and reused at other locations.