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By KEVIN KOELLING
TELL CITY – The Perry County Recycling Management district is looking at the possibility of accepting roofing shingles, its board of directors heard at a regular meeting Sept. 26.
Lynn Rice, a member of the district’s advisory board, reported they were examining requirements and methods for recycling the roofing material.
Executive Director Ken Smith added the district will sell them to recyclers, who will grind them up and sell the asphalt back to companies like J.H. Rudolph for use in roads.
“They approached us,” he said of Betz Brothers of Jasper. “They deliver shingles to Rudolph in St. Croix, and they’d like to have a backhaul” versus making the return with empty trucks. “They will pay us for the shingles.”
“We’re just in the discussion phase,” he continued, explaining startup and processing costs need to be determined. “By the end of the year, I hope to be ready to make a decision one way or the other on it.”
The district would simply collect the shingles, he said.
“We would load them into trucks and they’ll take them up to their site, Smith explained. The company has machines that will grind them and take out any nails and other unwanted materials, he added.
“So they haul it, they grind it and we get paid for it,” board member and County Councilman Jim Adams recapped.
“Right,” Smith replied.
“I love the sound of this,” Adams said.
“But we have to handle it,” Smith added. “Where our money’s going to be is we’ll collect from the people bringing shingles. Right now, in Hawesville, it’s almost $50 per ton of shingles, and it doesn’t take many shingles to make a ton. Plus you have to take them all the way over there. If we can come in at half of that, we’re going to be making some money. Those are the things we have to look into. Can we make any money off of it without it costing us money?”
A storage area will need to be established, but Marlow Smethurst, president of the advisory board, said a concrete slab and loading ramp can be poured where an old foundation exists at the district’s Cannelton site.
Every load of shingles would have to be tested for asbestos, Smith said, meaning a piece of shingle would need to be bagged and sent to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. If a load containing the carcinogen is received, it’s the company’s problem, he said in response to a question from Commissioner and board member Tom Hauser. Such shingles are rare today, he said, and are easily identifiable by sight.
“If we knew it was a load of asbestos shingles, we wouldn’t take it,” he added.
Adams said he left a job at Thriftway 13 years ago after working there 26 years, and didn’t recall that building-materials company ever selling shingles containing asbestos.
“They outlawed them in the ’70s,” Smith said. He said the advisory board will continue researching the service and could provide a cost analysis at the board’s next meeting.
Adams said like a paint-collection service the district offers, it would be “awesome that we do this.”
“It would add diversity to the services the district offers,” board member and Tell City Mayor Barbara Ewing noted.
In other business, the board approved a request from Ohio Valley Gas for a 20-foot easement for which that company would pay the district $300. The approval was contingent on the gas company agreeing to return road surface and ground to its original condition.
The board will next meet at 6 p.m. Oct. 24 in the county courthouse.