Recycling Asphalt Shingles: What To Do With Old Shingles
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Asphalt Shingles Recycling: What To Do With Your Old Shingles

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Posted By: Roof Troopers

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Asphalt shingles are a famous roof covering material, and they tend to need replacement every 10-20 years, making them responsible for billions of pounds of waste each year. 

But there are some good news. There are ways to recycle your old asphalt shingles so that instead of ending up in a landfill taking up space and releasing pollutants. They can be reused, recycled, or even used as fuel. 

This blog post will discuss the different recycling options available and why ensuring these materials don’t end up in landfills is essential.

What Are Asphalt Shingles?

new renovated roof covered with shingles flat polymeric roof-tiles

Shingles crafted from asphalt are a prevalent choice for roofing on residential and commercial structures. They are composed of an asphalt-saturated organic felt base, topped with mineral granules for protection from the elements.

Asphalt is relatively light, thus not putting too much strain on the structural integrity of older buildings. This makes it an excellent choice for residences where weight can be an issue. It is also easy to install since it comes in pre-cut strips that fit together like puzzle pieces without needing additional fasteners or adhesives. 

Why Recycle Asphalt Shingles?

Asphalt shingles are one of the most common roofing materials used in residential and commercial buildings. As such, they generate a large amount of waste each year.

Fortunately, asphalt shingles can be recycled into valuable products that benefit the environment and society. 

Here are four reasons why recycling asphalt shingles is essential.

1) Reduced Waste

Recycling asphalt shingles helps to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills each year. This helps conserve resources and reduces air pollution from burning off excess landfill gasses. In addition, it prevents soil contamination from leaching chemicals or metals into groundwater sources.

2) Cost Savings

Recycling asphalt shingles can save money for businesses by reducing disposal costs associated with hauling away old roofs. It also saves money on new materials since recycled material is often cheaper than new ones from suppliers.

3) Energy Conservation

Using recycled instead of virgin material significantly reduces energy consumption as less energy is needed to manufacture new products from existing materials. 

4) Job Creation

Collecting, sorting, crushing, and reusing old asphalt shingles create jobs in local communities where these activities occur. It provides employment opportunities for people who may otherwise struggle to find work due to lacking skills or educational qualifications.

The Asphalt Shingle Recycling Process

roof troopers contractors pile up old broken shingles for recycling

The process of asphalt shingle recycling is a relatively simple one. However, if you’re uncertain of the following steps, here is a detailed description to help lighten your load.

1) Collection

The first step in the asphalt shingle recycling process is collecting old or damaged materials from construction sites or other locations where new roofs have been installed.

This may involve working with contractors who have removed existing roofs or picking up discarded materials from landfills and other disposal sites.

2) Sorting

Once collected, the materials must be sorted into categories based on their condition and composition.

For example, broken pieces of asphalt should be separated from intact tiles that could still be reused for another purpose. In addition to sorting by type of material, it’s essential to separate any contaminants, such as nails or screws, that could damage equipment during processing.

3) Grinding

After sorting, the next step is grinding the asphalt into small particles to be more easily handled and transported for further processing steps like re-use or energy recovery.

Grinding usually involves using specialized machinery designed specifically for this purpose; however, manual methods such as hammer mills may also be employed depending on the size of the job at hand.

4) Re-Use/Energy Recovery

Depending on its condition after grinding, some recycled asphalt may still be suitable for hot mix asphalt used in road paving projects. It can also be taken to other applications requiring aggregate material, like gravel driveways and walkways.

Alternatively, suppose it’s not fit for reuse due to contamination issues. In that case, it can go through an energy recovery process that involves burning off any volatile organic compounds before converting what remains into fuel oil. It can then be sold commercially as a renewable resource alternative to petroleum products like diesel fuel or gasoline.

Challenges in Recycling Asphalt Shingles

close-up of broken cracked shingles too damaged for recycling

Recycling asphalt roofing shingles come with a range of obstacles, such as:

  • Collection and Transportation: Asphalt shingles are heavy and difficult to store or transport. They can be bulky, which adds to transportation costs.
  • Cost of Processing: Recycling asphalt shingles are expensive due to grinding and separating them into usable components.
  • Quality of Recycled Material: The quality of recycled material is not always consistent, meaning it may be harder to find a market.

These challenges can prove difficult to overcome, but recycling asphalt shingles can be viable and cost-effective to reduce landfill waste with the right equipment and processes.


Are you inquisitive to learn more about asphalt shingle recycling? Keep reading for the solutions to your most pressing questions!

What percentage of asphalt shingles are recycled?

According to the National Asphalt Pavement Association, approximately one-fifth of shingles are recycled annually. This figure is rising as people become more aware of the advantages of recycling these materials and firms devise better systems for collecting and handling them. 

What can old asphalt shingles be used for?

Old recycled asphalt roofing shingles can be used for a variety of purposes. They are often recycled and reused in roofing projects, providing an inexpensive and durable material. In addition, recycled shingles can fabricate pathways, driveways, patios, or any other exterior surfaces requiring impenetrable protection from the elements. 

Where can I get rid of old shingles near me?

If you want to eliminate an old shingle or worn out roof, a few options are available. Depending on your area, you may be able to locate companies that offer shingle disposal services. 

Alternatively, many waste management companies provide pick-up and disposal services for roofing materials such as shingles. You can also check with your local government or recycling centers for additional resources.

Final Thoughts

Recycling asphalt shingles is a great way to help the environment and reduce costs. Knowing which recycling centers accept your old shingles and how much money you can save by using recycled material will make it easier to decide whether or not this option is right for you. 

If all of this sounds intimidating and you want expert advice on managing your roof replacement project with recycled materials, contact Roof Troopers today

Our team has extensive experience helping customers choose the most cost-effective solution that meets their needs while being good stewards of our planet’s resources. 

Let us show you why we are one of the top roofers!


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