Industry Partnership Achieves Positive Results in Pilot Project Using Mushrooms to Decarbonize Construction Waste
- 06 October 2022
Lendlease, Rubicon Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: RBT), Mycocycle, and Rockwood Sustainable Solutions, today announced the completion of a successfully partnered pilot involving used asphalt shingles, mushrooms, and mycoremediation technology to reduce construction and demolition waste in order to produce a sustainable and reusable product to further create a more circular economy.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, 11 to 13 million tons of asphalt shingles end up in landfills each year, where they take upwards of 300 years to break down. After seeing the large percentage of waste that was generated by used asphalt roofing shingles from a recent re-roofing project at their Fort Campbell Army installation in Kentucky, Lendlease, Rubicon, Mycocycle, and Rockwood Sustainable Solutions proposed a solution to reuse the material in a new capacity.
“Every asphalt shingle from those 214 homes would have gone to a landfill,” said Sara Neff, Head of Sustainability at Lendlease Americas. “There was simply no viable use for them. We understand the importance of reducing our Scope 3 carbon by diverting waste streams from the landfill. After teaming up with Rubicon, Mycocycle, and Rockwood Sustainable Solutions, we came up with an innovative idea using mycoremediation technology; combining mushrooms and shingles to break down waste materials and create a new by-product that could ideally be reintroduced for reuse, furthering a circular economy.”
Shingle samples were gathered and transported to Rockwood Sustainable Solutions’ facility in Lebanon, Tennessee where Mycocycle, an environmental remediation company that uses fungi to decarbonize waste streams, performed what is believed to be a first-of-its-kind pilot study, mixing the sample with three strains of fungi, a process called mycoremediation.
“The successful completion of this pilot is a fantastic example of environmental innovation in action,” said Nate Morris, Chairman and CEO of Rubicon. “Rubicon’s mission is to end waste, and it is innovations such as these that find second life circular solutions for hard-to-recycle materials. Partnerships, like this one between Rubicon, Lendlease, Mycocycle, and Rockwood Sustainable Solutions are possible when environmental innovation and the circular economy meet.”
“Using mycoremediation to process waste so as to be further recycled and form part of the circular economy is its highest use,” said Joanne Rodriguez, Founder and CEO of Mycocycle. “Our mycelium recycling pilots continue to see excellent results among a wide range of materials, and I’m excited to see where our work, in partnership with Lendlease, Rubicon, and Rockwood Sustainable Solutions, takes us.”
“This partnership has the potential to be a template for the future,” continued Neff. “Of those 11 to 13 million tons of asphalt shingles dumped in landfills each year, only 5-10 percent are being recycled. Taking a product that is no longer viable and combining it with a natural renewable source that results in a new product is a phenomenal outcome that is both beneficial to the environment and bolsters the economy. We are proud of this pilot and our future partnerships with Rubicon, Rockwood Sustainable Solutions, and Mycocycle.”
Alexandra Ewing of Lendlease, Chris Batterson of Rubicon, Lincoln Young of Rockwood Sustainable Solutions, and Joanne Rodriguez of Mycocycle will be hosting a session on the results of this project, titled “Forging a Truly Circular Economy for Toxic C&D Materials,” at the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo on Tuesday, November 1, 2022 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, California.
Additionally, the team is looking to manufacturers across the building industry and encouraging them to continue to focus on the impact these new materials can have on reducing emissions while making our supply chain more sustainable.
Lendlease (www.lendlease.com) is a leading global real estate and investment group with operations in Australia, Asia, Europe, and the Americas. Our purpose is to create places where communities thrive. Headquartered in Sydney, Australia, and listed on the Australian Securities Exchange, Lendlease has approximately 7,700 employees internationally. Our core capabilities are reflected in our operating segments of Development, Construction, and Investments. The combination of these three segments provides us with a sustainable competitive advantage and allows us to provide innovative integrated solutions for our customers.
Rubicon Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: RBT) is a digital marketplace for waste and recycling, and provider of innovative software-based products for businesses and governments worldwide. Creating a new industry standard by using technology to drive environmental innovation, the company helps turn businesses into more sustainable enterprises, and neighborhoods into greener and smarter places to live and work. Rubicon’s mission is to end waste. It helps its partners find economic value in their waste streams and confidently execute on their sustainability goals. To learn more, visit www.Rubicon.com.
Mycocycle, Inc. (www.mycocycle.com) was founded in October 2018. It is a woman-owned, early stage cleantech company using mycoremediation to process toxins out of waste. Mycocycle was one-of-seventeen companies worldwide selected to The Circulars Accelerator in 2022 through the World Economic Forum and Accenture, was the winner of the 2021 1871 Momentum Awards as an Industry Disrupter and Chicago Innovation “Up and Comer” Award, recognized as a Finalist in FastCompany's "2021 World Changing Ideas" Awards issue, recognized as a Forbes “Next1000” Entrepreneur and Energy+Environment Top 100 Leader, selected as a Top 100 Global Deeptech Pioneer by Hello Tomorrow, and a 2020 Innovation selection in the EPA's Innovation and America Recycle's Fair.
About Rockwood Sustainable Solutions
Rockwood Sustainable Solutions (www.rockwoodrecycling.com) was founded in 2014. Rockwood began their operations in shingle recycling; collecting materials, processing, and utilizing the shingle in hot mix asphalt in Tennessee. As the company progressed, they continued to grow through recycling additional construction products including wood, tires, and drywall. Today, Rockwood is one of Tennessee’s largest construction recycling companies specializing in a variety of material recovery for various end markets.