SPRA commissions waste recovery research

SPRA Single Ply Roofing Assoication logoResource recovery specialist Axion Consulting has completed a project commissioned by the Single Ply Roofing Association (SPRA) to obtain data on waste volumes generated in the growing single ply roofing sector.

The brief recognised the need to understand trends in both new waste (from site and training programmes) and end-of-life waste removed from roofs during refurbishment and demolition.

The proportion of the latter is expected to rise as the sector growth in the 1980’s and 1990’s reaches the end of its design life. Key determinants include regulatory incentives to overlay rather than remove the existing roof and logistics that are seen to be economically viable.

The objective is to prepare the groundwork for a pilot waste recovery and reprocessing scheme. SPRA member manufacturers account for at least 70% of the sector’s overall coverage of approximately six million m² of roofing annually.

The report estimates that SPRA members generate approximately 250 tonnes of new high-quality polymeric membrane waste per annum and an as-yet unknown quantity of end-of-life waste.

Jane Gardner, project manager for Axion Consulting, commented: “There was strong support for a recycling scheme amongst the twelve membrane manufacturers interviewed, with some citing main contractors’ Site Waste Management Plans as well as client policies as key drivers to account for the end use of waste. At this stage, we need greatly improved data on material types, their condition, and geographical distribution.”

SPRA technical director Jim Hooker added: “Although SPRA membrane manufacturers are required to register all projects, our roofing contractors are key to a scheme’s viability. They must be confident that a waste recovery scheme will be cost-effective.”

SPRA has agreed a range of actions to improve data collection and is now working with re-processors to develop viable options, and further research is planned.