Dubuque landfill ends shingle recycling program due to little market demand

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The Dubuque landfill is suspending one of its recycling programs immediately because it says there isn't anywhere for the materials to go.

A pile of shingles sits at the Dubuque landfill on Friday, March 15, 2019. (Allison Wong, KCRG-TV9)

The Dubuque Metropolitan Area Solid Waste Agency has had a partnership with a local company, L.L. Pelling, since 2012. The landfill would collect shingles and store them for Pelling, and Pelling would grind the shingles up and sell them for use in making asphalt road mix. Customers paid $29 per ton and Pelling received $25 on each ton.

However, DMASWA Administrator John Foster said the market isn't interested in buying shingles. With nowhere for Pelling to sell the shingles, it asked to end the partnership.

“Unfortunately it was just such a hard time for our partner, L.L. Pelling to market those materials that they really expressed no interest in continuing the program much longer," Foster said.

Foster said the shingles will now go into the landfill. He encourages people to reduce their use of this material.

"Instead of using asphalt shingles look at maybe a tin roofing," he suggested.

The program could start again, according to Foster.

Foster said, "once the markets kind of open back up again and there’s a little bit more demand for this product, we’d definitely take another look at opening up the program."

Dittmer Recycling said this will not impact its business. Owner Scott Dittmer said he picks up shingles from contractors and takes them to the landfill, but that it's a very small part of his business.

This program diverted an average of 550 tons of shingles per year.