SAN ANTONIO - In 2015 alone, 2 million tons of recycled asphalt shingles went into new pavement around the country, which saved taxpayers $2.6 billion.
Shingle recycling is big business, and one that benefits the planet.
“Eighty percent of U.S. homes have asphalt shingles on their roof, so keeping these shingles out of landfills is a big win for the environment,” Angie’s List founder Angie Hicks says.
Across the nation, companies like Indiana Shingle Recycling receive loads of old shingles from roofers and contractors.
“They unload it here and then we have hands-on guys that get in there and physically have to go through and basically pull the trash out of it,” says Liesel Ray, co-owner of Indiana Shingle Recycling.
Bone Dry Roofing, which serves 10 Midwest markets, drops off daily at an average of $85 per truckload.
“The majority of the material we tear off of roofs actually goes into the shingle recycling program,” Bone Dry general manager Judd Haag says. “We’ve been recognized by our manufacturer as one of the top recycling contractors in the United States.”
Shingles go into a massive shredder to create what asphalt companies use in their pavement mix.
“It basically grinds it up and pulverizes it into a consistency kind of in between a pea gravel and a coffee ground,” Ray says.
When one mountain of shingles goes through the shredder, another takes its place.
“If this was sitting in the landfill, it’s basically going to sit there forever,” Ray says. “By us taking it and recycling it, it’s put back into the roads so everyone’s basically driving on recycled material.”
Angie says to ask potential roofers if they recycle old shingles. Because most consider it the new standard, if one tells you they don’t do it, consider one that does.