Asphalt shingle roofing is rarely thought of as environmentally friendly, if ever. Asphalt is a byproduct of crude oil refining and, therefore, not a sustainable or earth-conscious roofing material.
However, if you plan on replacing your asphalt shingle roofing system, you don’t have to worry about the old shingles ending up in a landfill. That is because, thanks to technological advances, asphalt shingles are now recyclable.
The US Environmental Protection Agency estimates that about 11 million tons of asphalt shingle waste are produced every year. Around 10 million tons comes from the residential tear-off processes, and the other million comes from asphalt shingle manufacturing plants.
When recycling asphalt shingles, it is usually easier and cheaper to recycle the manufacturer’s waste. This is because this asphalt is a little cleaner and hasn’t been mixed with fiberglass, felt paper, cotton, etc. However, just because it’s easier doesn’t mean that it’s impossible or there isn’t a market for it.
According to Todd Genovese, a representative of Lafarge North America, even shingles that are considered “clean” often have to go through multiple cleaning processes, much like the shingles that have been torn off residential homes. He mentions that being located quite a distance from recycling plants contributes to businesses recycling their asphalt waste.
Recycled asphalt shingles are commonly used to create roadworks, pavements, and other roofing materials. In the US, the market for recycled asphalt shingles has significantly increased over the years as businesses are using the material to improve roadworks across the country.
In Minnesota, the local government has opted to use recycled asphalt shingles for hiking and biking trails. And in Georgia, the local government has declared that asphalt from manufacturing waste makes up 5% of the total road and paving mixtures.
Are you considering replacing your asphalt shingle roof and want to know how to dispose of your tear-off shingles safely? Give Certified Inc. Roofing a call today, and we’ll assist you with all your roofing needs.