April is Earth Month and a great time to let homeowners know that their roof replacement project can actually support sustainability initiatives. We hear a lot today about material recycling, but among materials that can be recycled, asphalt products – including shingles – are especially well-suited for re-purposing.

Although asphalt shingles are durable and long-lasting, even the most enduring building materials will eventually need to be replaced. Years ago, roofers would install new shingles over an existing layer of shingles to avoid disposing shingles into landfills. However, this approach only delayed the journey to the landfill. Shingle recycling offers a practical, convenient and sustainable approach.

Roof-to-Road Approach

Once asphalt shingles leave a home or building’s roof, they can be recycled and repurposed for use in roadway construction and repair – therefore bypassing the landfill. The Federal Highway Administration calculates there are more than 2 million miles of paved roadway in the United States and 94 percent of those roadways are paved with asphalt, according to the Asphalt Institute. The Northeast Recycling Council (NERC) has estimated that 11 million tons of asphalt shingle scrap is produced annually in the U.S., and experts estimate that the asphalt shingles from just one house can cover approximately 200 feet of a two-lane highway.

Universal Benefits

A pledge, or mindset to support sustainability benefits consumers and contractors.

Owens Corning Roofing and Asphalt has created a Shingle Recycling Program that helps Owens Corning Roofing Preferred Contractors connect customers with roofers who pledge to support shingle recycling. By taking the pledge, Owens Corning Roofing Preferred contactors demonstrate their participation in sustainable practices to homeowners. The program – and various marketing materials available to helps contractors promote shingle recycling -- helps contractors communicate their business’s support of shingle recycling.

Beyond appealing to homeowners and offering contractors a point of differentiation in the marketplace, shingle recycling also offers additional benefits to contractors. For example, the practice of properly removing and recycling tear-off asphalt shingles can help contractors earn credits under the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED rating program, and similar certification programs for building-owner customers.

Credible drop-off and recycling centers offer a one-stop recycling service and many offer hauling capabilities and drop-off locations. Earth911.com, for example, has one of North America’s most extensive recycling center databases. The site’s online directory lists recycling and disposal resources for hundreds of products.

Share Shingle Recycling News

Earth Day is April 22, but the opportunity to connect homeowners with shingle recycling opportunities exists every day. Owens Corning Roofing and Asphalt has created an online video to communicate the benefits of shingle recycling. The company has also developed marketing materials to help Preferred Contractors communicate recycling efforts. Ready to help recycle? Click here for more information about shingle recycling and other sustainable roofing initiatives.