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From: jhen moores (
Subject:         Asphalt shingle recycling facts
Date: April 7, 2015 at 1:13 am PST

Asphalt shingle recycling facts

If you had to guess, which roofing material do you think is the most common in America? If you guessed asphalt shingles, youíre absolutely right. Asphalt shingles are by far the most common roofing material. In fact, asphalt shingles account for 80% of all residential roofs in the US. What happens to all that asphalt when itís time to replace the roof? More often than not, it goes into a truck which is then driven to the nearest landfill. What many people donít realize is that asphalt shingle roofs are actually recyclable. And more and more cities are opening asphalt shingle recycling centers to make use of all of those old roofs. Here are some facts about asphalt shingle recycling.

Why asphalt shingles should be recycled

The average residential roof contains one to three tons of asphalt shingles, depending on whether there is one layer of shingles or two. In all, approximately 10 million tons of asphalt shingles are removed from homes each year nationwide. Thatís 20 billion pounds of asphalt that could be recycled and used to make other products. Instead, most of that will end up in a landfill where it can take up to 300 years to degrade. Because asphalt shingles are petroleum based, they cannot be burned due to the harmful emissions it would give off. For every ton of asphalt shingles that is recycled, two barrels of oil are spared. Since oil is a non-renewable resource, recycling asphalt shingles is in everyoneís best interest.

How asphalt shingles are recycled

When the roofing company has finished tearing off the shingles from your roof, they will be taken to the nearest shingle recycling center. Some recycling centers can separate the wood from your roof from the shingles, at some centers, the roofers will need to do the separating. Any roofing nails are removed by large, powerful magnets and the asphalt shingles are then ground up into smaller pieces. Recycling asphalt shingles is usually free though some may charge a small fee, usually less than the cost of dumping the shingles in a landfill.

What becomes of recycled asphalt shingles?

By far the most common use of recycled asphalt shingles is roads. The recycled shingles are used as asphalt for new roads or for patching older roads. Roads arenít the only use for recycled shingles, however. They can be used to make new asphalt shingles and can be broken down in order to produce fuel oil. Recycled shingles can even be used to make ground cover or to control dust and erosion on unpaved roads.

If itís time for a new roof, ask your contractor about the possibility of recycling your existing roof so the shingles donít just end up in a landfill.

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Tags: roofing, roofing tips, roofing materials, asphalt shingle roofs, asphalt shingle recycling

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