A Monroe paving company wants to open the state’s third shingle recycling plant in Matthews.
Two representatives of Boggs Paving told the Matthews town board Oct. 11 that the company wants to open the new operation at the former Hill Sand & Gravel site at 2168 Stevens Mill Road. The town board took no action Oct. 11. The Matthews Planning Board will consider the new industrial use at its Oct. 26 meeting, and the town board expects to discuss and vote on the proposal at its Nov. 8 meeting.
Commissioners and some in the audience at the town board meeting peppered the paving company officials with questions about the shingle recycling process, and the question most often repeated concerned cancer-causing asbestos.
Boggs will follow all environmental regulations and test shingles brought to the recycling center for asbestos, said Phil Hill, the paving company’s recycling coordinator. The company disposes of any shingles containing asbestos by burying them in an approved landfill following federal environmental guidelines, Hill said.
Boggs treats the shingle-recycling operation as a “green business,” Hill said. Besides the shingles, company workers will separate any wood, paper and aluminum or other metals from each shipment and send those materials to other recycling facilities. Before the advent of shingle-recycling plants, discarded shingles were filling the area’s landfills, Hill and Boggs Recycling Manager Mike Batson said.
Boggs already operates a shingle recycling facility at its headquarters at 2318 Concord Hwy. in Monroe, Hill said during a public hearing. But the Matthews site would give the company more space for storing shingles and put it closer to Charlotte, the source of most of the shingles Boggs processes, Hill said.
The only other shingle-recycling facility in the state operates in Greenville, N.C., and since the process is relatively new, the Matthews Board of Commissioners must add that category of business to the list of uses permitted in heavy industrial, or I-2, zoning, Planning Director Kathi Ingrish told commissioners. Hill Sand & Gravel, the Martin-Marietta site and the town’s own Public Works yard are the only three places in Matthews with the heavy-industrial zoning.
Responding to questions, Hill and Mike Batson, Boggs’ recycling manager, assured the board that neighbors are not likely to know the plant is there or when it is operating. They said:
• Boggs will only bring in a machine to grind shingles three or four times a year. With some adjustments, the same machine used to grind up tree limbs and wood can grind up shingles. The rest of the time, company workers will accept, test and separately store shipments of shingles.
• The plant won’t take up much space. Boggs will install a paved pad where the grinding machine works when brought to the site.
• The grinding will take place during normal daylight working hours, usually stopping by 6 p.m., Batson said. Besides the grinding, the engines from front-end loaders will provide the only other noise from the plant, Hill said after the meeting.
• Just like its Monroe plant, Boggs will install misting devices around the grinding machine to capture any dust created during the grinding.
Commissioner Nancy Moore asked the Boggs officials how they handle any water running off the site. Batson said the water used to capture the dust evaporates in the process, and no water will run off the site. Company employees sweep and dispose of the dust, Batson said.
Because some homes and Team Church sit close to the Hill Sand & Gravel land, Commissioner Paul Bailey suggested extending the minimum buffer between adjacent property owners and the plant operations from 100 to 150 feet. Hill said that change was acceptable.
After the meeting, Hill said, “Our company is extremely forward thinking” in recycling construction materials and also the use of “warm-mix asphalt” on its road projects. The warm-mix process applies asphalt to roads at about 100 degrees cooler than the normal hot-asphalt operation, which traditionally heats the material to about 375 degrees, Hill said. The warm-mix process is better for Boggs’ employees and the environment, he said.
“Boggs is really, really interested in being green,” Hill said. “…We’re hometown folks.”