According to a 2007 report by the Northeast Recycling Council, an estimated 11 million tons of asphalt shingles are manufactured and disposed of each year. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that shingle waste (installation scraps and tear-offs from re-roofing) accumulates to form 8 percent of the total building-related waste stream. Asphalt cement made through the partial refinement of petroleum and toxic, non-decomposing fiberglass are the two main components of roofing shingles, and are what have amassed in our nation's landfills.
While some roofing contractors have access to recycling centers that convert shingles into new asphalt, roadway patches, new roofing, and fuel, there are still plenty of contractors – and certainly the whole of the general public – who are without such means. This doesn't mean shingles can't be repurposed and kept out of landfills even after they've been pulled off your roof.
RE-USE SUGGESTIONS FOR ASPHALT SHINGLES
- If you live in Texas, Florida, Ohio, or Pennsylvania you can possibly recycle your asphalt shingles. Visit ShingleRecycling.org for more information.
- If your asphalt shingles aren't too old and worn, install them on the roof of a storage shed or dog house.
- Glue a few asphalt shingles together and paint “Welcome” on top in colorful letters. Bingo – you've got yourself a homemade doormat!
- Put asphalt shingles on your driveway to absorb oil stains, or to prevent stains when changing the oil in your car.
- Give security and traction to the floorboards in your unfinished attic by nailing shingles to the planks.
- If you're a drummer, you know how important traction is for keeping your kit in place. Asphalt shingles are perfect for keeping your drums from sliding while playing.
- Place old asphalt shingles around plants to keep weeds from cropping up.
- Make a garden path out of asphalt shingles instead of buying gravel, cement stones, or bricks.
- Instead of spreading sand or salt on your sidewalk in the winter, try placing a row of asphalt shingles over your icy walkway.
- Donate gently-used asphalt shingles to your local branch of Habitat for Humanity.
If you are replacing your roof take a look at the roofing materials options you have available.
(shingle photo: Thousandshipz)