According to the Environmental Protection Agency (E.P.A.), more than 11 million tons of asphalt shingles enter U.S. landfills each year. Shingles account for an estimated 3%-5% of landfill space and they are non-degradable, meaning they stay there forever. Asphalt shingles are also 25% oil by weight, so think of how much oil you could save by reusing or recycling your asphalt shingles?
Ecoroofing is not your typical contractor in many ways
Now that you know you can recycle your old asphalt shingles, where do you begin? Surprisingly, most local contractors I spoke with weren’t familiar with how to recycle shingles. Most just rent a dumpster and throw the old shingles, tar paper and nails away. Even with a Construction and Demolition Association dedicated to recycling and an Asphalt Recycling and Reclaiming Association, many contractors and builders aren’t aware of the recycling options. They don’t know that your old shingles can be shredded and reused for roads. (If you’re interested in the actual recycling process, visit the EPA website for more details. In the end, this means that we, as consumers, need to be proactive to make sure our construction waste doesn’t end up in the landfill. We can’t just rely on the contractor to know the latest about recycling and ways to reuse material. Admittedly, I wish I would have done this when we had a new roof put on our home 10 years ago.