Asphalt Shingle Recycling Benefits the Environment and Your Wallet
In California alone, about 1.2 million tons of asphalt shingle waste is generated each year (1). The vast majority of this waste comes from reroofing projects. That’s a whole lot of waste to bury at local landfills, but luckily there’s a greener alternative.
What are recycled shingles used for?
The shingle recycling process reuses old asphalt shingles for new purposes, including but not limited to:
- Melted into asphalt mix as an aggregate and used to pave new roads
- Used as a mix to fill potholes
- Grinded up and used as ground cover
- Melted down and used to produce new roofing shingles
The process is pretty similar to other recycling operations. Basically, the shingles are gathered at a local shingle recycling facility, the shingles are sorted and cleaned, the shingles are ground up and/or melted, and the resulting product is shipped away to its final destination at a manufacturing plant (e.g., shingle manufacture, asphalt company, etc.).
Shingle recycling has been around since the 1980s, but it hadn’t been a popular choice until recently as landfill space becomes increasingly scarce. Additionally, recycling shingles instead of landfilling this debris is typically the cheaper option.
The economics of shingle recycling
The average home’s roof weighs about 3-4 tons (2). The average landfill tipping fee in the State of California is $52.07 per ton (3), so it can cost more than $200 just to dispose of the waste at one reroofing job. Recycling saves money.
Here’s an example: The Material Recovery Solutions, Inc. in Anaheim accepts roofing debris at just $35 per ton. That means it would cost no more than $140 to dispose of an average-size home’s roof.
Reuse your roof
Always ask your roofing contractor about shingle recycling. It’s the greenest way to go, and as explained above, can save you some green in your wallet as well.
Most facilities don’t even require that you remove nails or other scraps from the shingles. High-powered magnets at the sorting facilities remove nails and other sorting/cleaning processes separate debris from the asphalt shingles. All you have to do is supply the scrap shingles.
Check out the infographic below to see how shingle recycling benefits the roofing business, the environment and the economy.
Infograph by Hometown Dumpster Rental