Eco-Friendly Roofing: Why Recycle Old Asphalt Shingles

As we collectively move toward a more eco-conscious society, more and more people are choosing to recycle their asphalt shingles rather than send them to a landfill, when they’re re-roofing their home.

Eco-Friendly Roofing: Why Recycle Old Asphalt Shingles

Eco-Friendly Roofing: Why Recycle Old Asphalt Shingles

Shingle recycling is an easy choice to make, as it requires very little effort on your part other than a commitment to designate the asphalt for reuse. Growing numbers of roofing contractors are also offering shingle recycling services as an alternative to traditional disposal methods.

What Are Recycled Shingles Used For?

As a recyclable material, shingles are important because they contain asphalt. The asphalt extracted from old shingles is most commonly used in road construction, maintenance and repair, though it can also be used to make new shingles. The shingles from one average-sized home can pave about 200 feet of a two-lane highway. Asphalt also has some applications in alternative energy generation.

One of the biggest benefits of recycling your asphalt shingles is that it reduces the need for construction and road repair companies to purchase new asphalt. The production of asphalt comes with a significant environmental price tag, and sending your shingles off to be reused helps decrease reliance on resource-depleting primary-source asphalt.

Additional Benefits of Shingle Recycling

Choosing to recycle your shingles rather than outright disposing of them also has important trickle-down benefits which you should keep in mind:

  • Job creation. Choosing to recycle your shingles helps spur economic growth in the recycling industry, which ultimately makes a positive contribution to job creation efforts.
  • Taxpayer savings. Because recycled asphalt is available at a reduced cost, it ultimately helps taxpayers save money on the costs of road repair and maintenance.

Questions to Ask Your Roofing Contractor

As you’re shopping around for a roofing contractor, be sure to ask in advance if they offer shingle recycling, if you’re interested in participating. Not all contractors recycle shingles, and if work has already begun on your roof, you may be left to recycle leftover materials at your own effort and expense.

If you’re interested in working with a contractor who doesn’t yet participate in a shingle recycling program, ask the contractor to direct you to a local service that will support your efforts, or search for a recycler online. Most roofing companies are happy to facilitate customer efforts to recycle building materials.

Finally, be sure to talk to your roofing contractor or person with asphalt recycling expertise if you’re unsure whether or not your shingles are recyclable in the first place. Not all roofing materials are good candidates for recycling, so figure out in advance whether or not yours qualify to avoid later disappointment and inconvenience.


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7 Comments

  1. Posted June 1, 2017 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    There are many reasons why you should recycle old asphalt shingles. One of the most important reasons is to provide material to create new asphalt shingles. My friend worked as a roofer for a bit, and suggested these shingles as the best ones to get because they are the easiest to replace.

  2. Posted June 22, 2017 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    I loved that you talked about recycling old shingles. I had heard that asphalt could be recycled, but I had only considered it to be for road work. I never took into account that it could also be used for roofing purposes! This is fantastic information. Recyclable resources should definitely be used to their fullest advantage.

  3. Posted June 23, 2017 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    That is good to know that you can recycle the old shingles in order to re-use the asphalt that is in them. I bet a lot of roofing companies don’t realize this or are afraid to do it because it can be time consuming. I just started my roofing company not too long ago and someone mention to me that you can do this which I thought was interesting idea. Are there places that will actually pay you to bring in the old shingles?

  4. Posted June 27, 2017 at 1:55 am | Permalink

    I read somewhere that asphalt is the most recycled material in the United States. I think part of that is because is fairly easy to recycle, and you don’t have to sort it out from anything else. Whatever the reason, I think it’s a great streak to keep up.

    • Posted July 5, 2017 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

      Especially when it comes to using it for many different uses. Recycling asphalt is a great streak to keep up for roads, and roof shingles. This way we are using our resources wisely.

  5. Posted July 6, 2017 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    With government and society getting serious about recyclable, eco friendly products, it was surprising that our roofs will follow suite. Metal and green roofs could were already eco-friendly but nice to know that most popular one, asphalt has joined the league. Since there are so many asphalt roofs, it will definitely give a huge impetus to the recycling industry.

  6. Paige Smith
    Posted July 13, 2017 at 2:28 am | Permalink

    It is interesting to learn the various uses for recycling roof shingles. Because shingles are always constantly being worn down, it makes it easier to produce new shingles with material from the old ones. With this in mind we can boost the economy by creating more shingles.

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