Two Mount Airy men plan to open a facility that recycles roofing materials into a product that can be used in road construction.
The business, which has received preliminary approval from the Mount Airy Planning and Zoning Commission, would be the first of its kind in Maryland, said Don Katzenberger, a partner in the company.
"We're trying to keep the materials out of the landfill and make a usable product out of it," said Mr. Katzenberger, president of S&K; Roofing in Mount Airy.
Each year, about 100,000 tons of roofing materials are disposed of in landfills, Mr. Katzenberger said.
He and his partner, Walt Johnson, said they plan to market their new business to roofing companies in Carroll, Howard, Montgomery and Frederick counties, with promises of reduced landfill tipping fees.
"We hope to reduce tipping fees at local landfills by approximately 30 [percent] to 40 percent," he said.
S&K; Roofing spends more than $2,000 each month on dumping fees, Mr. Katzenberger said.
Over the past year, Mr. Katzenberger and Mr. Johnson have worked with engineers at the University of Maryland College Park to develop a material made from crushed asphalt and fiberglass shingles that is suitable for road paving.
The two men received a $4,000 grant from the Maryland Cooperative Extension Service to conduct studies to determine if the roofing materials could be recycled.
"We've developed a mix that's as good as or better than the federal standards for asphalt on the road," Mr. Katzenberger said.
The recycling center, to be called Asphalt Roof Recycling Co. will be in a 3,750-square-foot building in Twin Ridge Industrial Park on Rising Ridge Road.
A grinding system will convert the fiberglass and asphalt shingles into road paving material.
Mr. Katzenberger expects to charge roofers between $30 and $35 a ton for their materials.
He plans to market the product to area paving mills that make asphalt for road construction.
Before giving final approval to the business, the Mount Airy Planning and Zoning Commission has requested specific information concerning noise and dust levels generated by the company.
Mr. Katzenberger said he's confident the business is well below the state standards in these categories, and expects to open the company by next spring.