Is Shingle Recycling a Good Idea?

Is Shingle Recycling a Good Idea?

Replacing a single roof on a home can generate thousands of pounds of trash that is sent directly to a local landfill. Multiply this by the hundreds of roof that have to be replaced in Pasadena every year, and it’s easy to see how construction waste is one of the biggest contributors to our local landfill. Shingles are the biggest part of the waste that comes from replacing a roof.

Shingles are made up of asphalt, limestone, sand, and glass. All of these are materials that are commonly used in other construction materials. Unfortunately, they can also be bad for the environment. Asphalt is made from oil, which has to be pumped out of the grounded shipped over long distances. Every new shingle that is made contributes to an ever-increasing carbon footprint. Materials such as glass are easier on the environment to produce, but they never truly biodegrade once they enter a landfill. Recycling solves many of these problems.

By reusing the materials in shingles, it’s possible to not only avoid mining and drilling for new materials, but it’s also possible to make sure that these materials don’t end up in landfills. Asphalt can be recycled into material to make roadways. Because the asphalt comes from a local source, and not made from raw crude oil, it’s often cheaper than “new” paving materials. Glass and sand can be recycled into thousands of different items. The limestone can be re-purposed into gravel beds and other construction uses.

Recycling shingles takes relatively little time. In fact, most homeowners don’t notice that it’s being done as they have their roofs replaced. In most cases, nails don’t have to be removed from the shingles, since they can be recycled as scrap metal.

Recycling roofing materials reduces the demand on the environment for new raw materials, keeps material out of local landfills, and can lower the cost of new construction materials.

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