Asphalt shingles are very popular roofing choices for American homes, and about 11 million tons of shingle waste is produced annually in the United States. The typical asphalt shingle will last around 30 years, after which, it will have outlived its usefulness and will require disposal. While many old asphalt shingles still end up in landfills, great numbers are being recycled because of ecological concerns, and also because recycled asphalt shingles have inherent value due to their high petroleum content.
According to Environmental Leader, about 66.7 million tons of reclaimed asphalt pavement and 1.2 million tons of reclaimed asphalt shingles were collected for use in new pavements in the United States in 2011. Moreover, reputable roofing contractors in High Point have stated that utilizing recycled asphalt pavement (RAP) and recycled asphalt shingles (RAS) conserves limited natural resources. It has been estimated that recycling one ton of shingles is the equivalent of conserving one barrel of oil.
Asphalt shingles contain components like fiberglass, and mineral fillers like limestone dolomite and silica; these happen to be the basic ingredients of the hot-mix asphalt that is used in road construction. This helps explain why the paving industry is the main end-user of reprocessed shingles. Part of recycled asphalt also goes back into roof shingle production. Using factory scraps to manufacture new roofing shingles helps reduce the cost of production, and reduces the industry’s carbon footprint.
There are additional cost-savings, too. A report released by the National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA) stated that taxpayers saved more than $2 billion in the 2011 paving season because of the use of recycled materials such as asphalt. The use of recycled shingles has been reported in three dozen states, including North Carolina. Roofing manufacturers such as GAF proactively recycle their asphalt shingles, and have created a recycling program which allows their contractors to recycle old shingles.
However, roofing manufacturers say that not all asphalt shingles can be recycled. Companies that specialize in roofing in High Point, NC, such as ABC Roofing, will first conduct on-site evaluations to determine if the old shingles are recyclable. In many cases, roofing contractors will take the old shingles during replacement orders, and these shingles will then be handed over to certified recycling plants for reprocessing.
Homeowners can visit websites like shinglerecycling.org for comprehensive state-by-state listings of shingle recycling opportunities and regulations. Residents of cities like High Point, North Carolina can conduct searches on this website to locate certified recycling plants and dealers in their area. GAF-certified roofing contractors such as ABC Roofing can also provide asphalt shingle installation services for homeowners who need new roofing systems for their homes.
Such contractors offer a wide variety of asphalt shingle styles and colors at affordable prices. These contractors can also repair residential roofs that have been damaged by hail, storms, and other types of inclement weather. By choosing asphalt shingles, homeowners can enjoy greater savings and protect the environment.