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.
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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