The Environmental Protection Agency or the EPA has estimated that the waste generated by shingle tear-off accumulates to over 10 million tons every year. In the past, all this material was transported to landfills, but now technology has devised other solutions, and there are ways with which this shingle can be recycled and converted into asphalt roads.
It was in the year 2009 that a program aimed at recycling shingles was first launched. Through this program almost a million tons of shingles was recycled successfully.
According to the stats, every home produces shingle waste that can be used to pave a road 200 feet long. Considering the amount of shingles that is generated as waste in the entire country, it can actually be used to pave roads that are at least 125,000 miles. This is nearly half the distance between the moon and earth.
So how is this shingle transformed into roads? We caught up with a representative at a local recycling center to gain more information. Here is the information he shared with us.
All waste management companies collect these shingles and hand them off to recycling centers.
The representative told us that his company receives shingles weighing around 60,000 tons every year. These are then taken to a lot that covers over 6 acres and has been specially set up for shingle processing. The gathered waste is sorted out and anything that is not shingle is removed from the pile. This is a necessary step because there are times when bottle caps and plastic wraps are mixed with shingles.
Shingles contain around 18% to 24% asphalt which is extracted from it. Other impurities do remain, but asphalt producers can still utilize the recycled material and use it for walking paths, roads and so on.
There are many benefits of recycling shingles. It reduces costs incurred for the asphalt producers and also has a decreased effect on the environment. Indeed, recycling does require operational expenses but these are also associated with transporting shingles to landfills, where they will be of no use. As such, it is better to set up a recycling facility rather than let all this material sit in landfills.
So play your part and give your shingle waste generated from your next roof replacement to a waste management company.