DaVinci Roofscapes LLC hit a new high for recycling processed plastics last year — triple the 2014 amount to 800,000 pounds — and plans are underway to reach another peak.
The Lenexa, Kan.-based manufacturer of synthetic slate and shake is poised to surpass the 1 million-pound mark for recycling in 2016.
“Earth Day is a good time to share the news about our enhanced recycling efforts,” Bryan Ward, vice president of operations, said in an email about the annual April 22 event to support environmental protection.
DaVinci has invested “north of $100,000” on a Zerma grinding and recycling system that will be installed in early May.
“It's a faster system in terms of pounds per hour,” Ward said. “It also handles purge [melted chunks of polymer that can weigh approximately 50 pounds] from color changes and startups.”
For a company that offers 50 shades of standard colors, let alone custom colors, transition tiles produced between orders pile up in off-spec scrap bins and need to be recycled. In the last five years, DaVinci has recycled more than 2 million pounds, mostly polypropylene.
“That's a tremendous amount of material reuse that would otherwise have gone to landfills,” Ward said.
The availability of so many colors has proved a good selling point and business climbed by double digits in 2015,” according to Mark Hansen, vice president of sales and marketing.
“In 2015 we introduced ‘Smokey Gray' as our 50th color and it's been well received,” Hansen said in a news release. “In just a year ‘Smokey Gray' has become a core color for us and a major component in numerous custom-color blends.”
With both business and the color palate growing, the new recycling machine should get a steady workout.
“We sort all the brown-colored scrap together, grays with grays, etc., and grind them up to be used in starter shingles,” Ward said.
Starter shingles can be a generic color because they are completely covered by the first course of roof shingles, he added.
“Because every roofing tile we create is 100 percent recyclable, our operations are extremely environmentally friendly,” Ward said. “In 2016 we'll take our commitment to recycling a step further.”