Companies demonstrate asphalt recycling

A south-of-the-river business was the staging area recently for some local companies' attempt to lobby state officials to fast-track a new process that turns old roofing materials into asphalt for roads and driveways.

The process involves recycling tear-off asphalt shingles and turning them into hot-mix pavement.

The Dem-Con recycling plant in Shakopee and the Commercial Asphalt Co. plant in Jackson Township, south of Shakopee, combined for the demonstration.

The technique sorts mixed roofing material to produce clean shingles, which are fed into a grinding machine. The product of that process is then fed into the asphalt plant. The final product contains 5 percent recycled asphalt shingles.

Officials of the companies contend that this process is rapidly becoming accepted as an energy saver and could reach 156,000 tons per year by 2012, saving 31,000 tons of virgin asphalt oil at a savings of $12.5 million.