Asphalt roofing is often not the first material that comes to mind when thinking of environmentally friendly materials. Asphalt, being a byproduct of crude oil refining, does little for those who care about sustainability and ecology.
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.
According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, about 11 million tons of asphalt shingle waste is produced annually. Ten million tons are produced due to homeowners tearing off and discarding their old asphalt roofing systems, and the remaining million are waste products of asphalt 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 that there isn’t a market for it.
According to Lafarge North America representative Todd Genovese, even “clean” shingles aren’t always cleaned and often have to go through a cleaning process, much like the shingles that have been torn off residential homes. He notes that being quite a distance from a shingle manufacturer is a contributing factor in using residential asphalt tear-offs.
The recycled asphalt shingles market is expanding as more and more states are using the material to pave their roads or improve their road networks. Parking lots, driveway developments, and other roofing materials have also been made from this amazing resource.
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.
There are many reasons to choose recycled asphalt shingles for your next residential roof. They’re not only cost-effective, but you can sleep better knowing that the industry is going green. With a little research and planning ahead, it’s possible to create an environmentally conscious home with just a few adjustments.
Are you considering replacing your asphalt shingle roof and want to know how to dispose of your tear-off shingles safely? Give Industrial Roofing Contractors a call today, and we’ll assist you with all your roofing needs.