Janesville52°

City council to consider shingle ban at landfill

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Catherine W. Idzerda
March 23, 2012
— The old formula: Off the roof, into the landfill.

The new process: Off the roof, onto the road.


At its Monday meeting, the Janesville City Council will vote on a proposal that would ban asphalt roof shingles from the city's landfill.


If it passes, the ban would go into effect July 1.


"The ban was a recommendation from the Sustainable Janesville Committee," said John Whitcomb, city operations director. "They presented it to the council at budget time."


The ban would cost the city about $42,000 a year in tipping fees but would keep about 2,000 tons of asphalt shingles out of the landfill.


"The council made a conscious decision to forgo that revenue," Whitcomb said.


Other items, such as electronics, appliances and waste oil, already are banned from landfills for environmental reasons, Whitcomb said.


Businesses have begun to recycle asphalt shingles, which are ground up and used in road construction.


"I think there are outlets reasonably close by," Whitcomb said.


One of those outlets is Rock Disposal between Janesville and Beloit.


Dennis Thiele, owner of Thiele Enterprises, said his company took asphalt shingles to the Janesville landfill for 40 years.


That changed Jan. 1.


"We contracted with Rock Disposal to take our asphalt shingles," Thiele said.


Tipping fees at the Janesville landfill are about $35 a ton.


The fees at Rock Disposal are smaller, but when he adds the gas and the time it takes to get to the Rock Disposal plant south of Janesville, he comes out about even.


Thiele said he had been considering recycling the shingles. Then, sometime last fall, he heard a rumor that the landfill might not be taking shingles anymore.


He said he is pleased with the results.


"We do 60 to 70 roofs a year, and every one of them is about four tons of shingles," Thiele said. "We've eliminated more than 200 tons of shingles from the landfill."


Mike Ettner of Construction Materials Recycling and B.R. Amon & Sons aggregate and paving company of Elkhorn have been recycling shingles since 2007.


Ettner, who formerly was the operator of Mallard Ridge landfill, said a compacted cubic yard of garbage in a landfill weighs 1,200 pounds.


A compacted, cubic yard of asphalt shingles weighs about 1,000 pounds. Every cubic yard of asphalt kept out of the mix extends the life of the landfill, Ettner said.


In addition, it saves the oil that would be used for shingles and roadwork.


"We know that for every ton of shingles that's recycled, we've conserved a 55-gallon drum of oil," Ettner said.


The company now has locations throughout the state, and Ettner has developed a mobile recycling unit that can be taken to work sites.


ON THE AGENDA

The Janesville City Council will hold its next meeting at 7 p.m. Monday, March 26, in fourth floor council chambers of the municipal building, 18 North Jackson St., Janesville.


Items on the agenda include:


-- An update on the Janesville-Milton-Whitewater Commuter bus service. Officials from Janesville, Milton and Whitewater have been holding discussions about the possibility of a bus line between the three cities since 2008.


The original bus line plan would have been supported by a variety of partners and included money from UW-Whitewater segregated university fees, which are contributed by students for a variety of services.


The UW-W Student Senate, which must approve of the use of the fees, voted down the proposal.


In fall of 2011, Generac, a Whitewater business, announced it was expanding and would be hiring 500 more employees.


City officials met with Generac, and the company expressed an interest in a commuter route.


Initially, the proposed service would run from April 30 to Dec. 31.


The service, which would cost $128,000 for eight months, would be funded with $68,005 from state and federal funds, $19,247 from fares, and $41,058 from sponsors.


-- A request from Hammy's Roadside Bar, 2131 Center Ave., Janesville, to review a plan to construct a roof structure over the bar's existing outdoor patio. Hammy's also is requesting a modification to its Class B liquor license to allow outdoor music.


-- A request from Agrace HospiceCare that the city extend Sandhill Drive west of North Wright Road. The company plans to build a new building on property it owns there.



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