- Continuus Materials, the manufacturers of Everboard — a commercial roofing material made of paper and plastic diverted from disposal — will be opening a third production facility in a Philadelphia suburb.
- The production facility will turn out about 150 million square feet of Everboard using 150,000 tons of diverted material each year, making it the largest Everboard production site so far, according to the company.
- Continuus representatives said at a recent meeting in Falls Township, Pennsylvania, that their planned facility in the state could be one of five new sites across the United States. Jason Burris, vice president of sales and marketing for Continuus, later clarified the company doesn’t have any other production facilities in formal planning stages.
Continuus Materials presented its plans to build a manufacturing plant at the local meeting in mid-November. The selected property belongs to Waste Management, a partial owner of Continuus, and sits adjacent to a local landfill from which Continuus plans to divert the materials needed for its process.
The site's proximity to urban areas is seen as ideal for capitalizing on the denser volumes of waste produced. Continuus hopes to rely on residential, industrial and commercial sources, potentially partnering with national retailers to pull from the non-recyclable paper and plastics from their businesses. Though the company's original Des Moines, Iowa, facility relies solely on cartons as its feedstock for Everboard, this newest plant — if approved — will mimic another location in Philadelphia by drawing on both paper and plastic products, Burris said.
Continuus began producing Everboard, its sole offering, after purchasing Iowa-based ReWall in 2018. Though the company says the exact composition of Everboard is proprietary, it is known to draw on a mix of paper and plastic products – including cartons and flexible packaging. While cartons are a more reliable component, the company also participated in a recent pilot to sort and market flexible packaging from a MRF in the state and found it could use this material in Everboard.
“The announcement of any new market for materials that are sorted and sold from MRFs is great news for the recycling system,” wrote Samantha Kappalman, vice president of strategic communications for The Recycling Partnership, via email. “New, robust markets for cartons would be an excellent signal to the marketplace to keep cartons produced by our curbside system collected, sorted, sold and recycled into new products, whether that is a recovered fiber product or Continuus Everboard's products.”
The company also said it will eventually offer new avenues for paper and plastic use beyond roof coverboard and turn the composite material into other products. “It’s not a product, it’s a platform,” Burris said. Ideally, the Continuus material is intended to function like gypsum, wood or cement in that it can be put to use in different applications. Whatever new applications might come from the R&D department could be manufactured by the upcoming facility, Burris said.
In the township meeting, Continuus mentioned construction could begin in May 2021, and a previous report referenced a January 2022 opening target. Burris said an opening date had not been finalized, noting it could take a year to obtain the necessary equipment alone.