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Recyclability Plays a Key Role in Sustainability

Mark Standifer Metal Sustainability
April 24, 2023 at 1:00 p.m.

MCS Influencer Mark Standifer says that sustainability is important to consider during the design phase of a project.  

Congratulations to the schools that received awards for the NRCA/Alliance Student Roof Competition. Clemson University, 1st place, the University of Florida, 2nd place and Texas A & M University, 3rd place.  If you did not attend the presentations, you may have missed a chance to hire your next estimator, project manager or superintendent. 

This month’s topic is: How can contractors talk about metal in terms of sustainability and even carbon reduction with customers?  

To be honest, I don’t recall the subjects of sustainability and carbon reduction ever coming up during my career.  I would think that a lot of thought would go into sustainability and carbon reduction, during the design phase. Especially if the building/project is working to achieve a specific number of LEED points.  I can think of an instance, though, where the decision to purchase a standing seam metal roof or composition shingle product hinged on which product could be recycled.  The standing seam metal roof got the job.  This particular roof is over 20 years old, and has had a tornado land on it, without losing a single metal roof panel. 

Something to think about when recycling metal.  DO NOT do this at the job site.  Bring any and all left over roof panels, gutter, downspouts, trim, etc. back to your shop. You want to recycle the left-over metal roof panel and trim pieces from your shop.  You bought the materials, you should reap the rewards for recycling same.  Whether you deliver, or contract with someone to pick up metal to be recycled; you will need to separate your painted and unpainted metals (galvanized), white metals (unpainted stainless steel and aluminum) and black iron products (red oxide primed and black iron) in separate containers.  It’s possible you may need another container for copper and brass products.  

As you can see, I don’t have a lot of knowledge (zip, nada) when it comes to the sustainability and carbon reduction as a it relates to metal.  I’m looking forward to seeing some of the other responses for this timely topic. 

Mark Standifer is currently semi-retired and consulting for metal roofing, walls and sheet metal shops. See his full bio here.



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