When shingles are torn off an existing roof system, they can be taken to a recycling center. This prevents waste from being sent to a landfill. Homeowners and building owners should talk to their roofing contractor about shingle recycling practices to ensure that old shingles are recycled. Did you know that you can recycle roof tiles? Asphalt shingles are a common roofing material and can be recycled thanks to their asphalt content.
Shingles can be diverted from the waste stream and transformed into asphalt pavement for our streets and roads. That is, asphalt started as a by-product of crude oil, then turned into shingles, which became roofs, only to finally be ripped off and sent to a landfill removed from the roofing economy. An organic asphalt shingle roof can last from 20 to 40 years, but typical roof warranties range from about 15 to 25 years. Every year, 13 million tons of asphalt materials are removed from houses in preparation for new roofs, according to GAF.
By helping to establish a clean asphalt stream, the new grinding process can eventually make high-quality recycled asphalt available for a number of non-shingle applications, such as waterproofing, automotive applications, and more. Asphalt, which is a viscous petroleum-based product (and therefore a non-renewable resource), is an excellent roofing material because it is durable and water resistant, making it effective in protecting houses from weather-related damage. However, the same material characteristics that make asphalt an excellent roofing material also make asphalt shingle debris a problem if not handled and disposed of properly. If you take into account the fact that metal roofs last longer than any other type of material, it really is the best eco-friendly roofing option.
The United States produces an average of 11 million tons of tile waste per year from roofing manufacturers and roof strippers. So this month, the company announced a revolutionary tile recycling process that has produced the industry's first asphalt shingles that contain RAS (recycled asphalt shingles) material that would otherwise have been sent to a landfill. In general, most types of asphalt shingles are recyclable, which is good because they are the most common roofing material and tend to have the shortest lifespan. Homeowners looking to replace roofs, new siding or windows, or any other home renovation project, wonder how they can be greener.
Through its tile recycling program, Owens Corning offers a search tool that helps you connect with roofing contractors who recycle in your area. Numerous industries used asbestos in construction products, such as asphalt and vinyl tiles, roofing materials containing asphalt, and cement boards. This has the potential, if scaled successfully, to create a circular economy for asphalt in general, not just roofs.