The devastating hailstorm in Phoenix Arizona of October 5, 2010 and its lingering affects still persist in Deer Valley Airpark. If you were here you remember it well. Hail, some as large as 2 inches in diameter, pummeled huge areas in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Glendale and Mesa generating a path of destruction for miles. Cars, by the thousands, looked like they were pounded with ball peen hammers. Over 150,000 homes required new roofs. Contractors, including shingle recyclers, poured into the Phoenix market to profit from the devastation. That brings us to the shingle pile in Deer Valley Airpark today.
There is a 10-acre pile of roof shingles just off Pinnacle Peak and Central Avenue in Deer Valley Airpark ready to be recycled. All those roofs damaged in that hailstorm ended up here. At least four recyclers came into the Phoenix market after the storm. All but one took in shingles and then vacated the state with the money. The recycler at Pinnacle Peak stayed. Eventually each pile was moved to this site. Shingle recycling is a vey common practice in many states but it’s new in Arizona. In fact there are a few states that won’t allow shingles into their dumps and require it be recycled. There are about 200,000 tons of recycle material currently on site and the city of Phoenix just approved a Temporary Use Permit to grind the material on site to turn this pile into asphalt material. Though this material cannot be used on ADOT roads it can be used for county roads, private roads, driveways, and ground cover or dust control. About 1 acre has already been recycled into fine asphalt pellets and removed from the site.
Ten acres of recycle material approximately 20 feet high did not end up in our dumps in the Phoenix area from the hailstorm of 2010. Through the cooperation of the City of Phoenix and a private recycler we have gone green with this material. About 99 percent of the pile is recyclable material. The finished product is about 97 percent pulverized asphalt shingles, 1 percent plastic, 1 percent glass and 1 percent wood. The finished pulverized asphalt is called Reclaimed Asphalt Shingles or RAS. RAS can be mixed with virgin asphalt and used for non-ADOT roads in Arizona, county roads, private roads, driveways and parking lots with significant savings. RAS also works extremely well for dust control when used with a binder that prevents the spread of material like gravel spreads.
Many Deer Valley residents have inquired what that “Mountain of Shingles” is on Pinnacle Peak. It took about two years of full time deliveries to build it. We hope to report in about two years that pile has become roadways and driveways, parking lots and ground cover all over Arizona and we have turned a disastrous hailstorm into a green energy success story.