Why Homeowners Should Choose Asphalt Roofing Shingles Recycling

For any conscientious homeowner that cares about the environment, seeking out new ways to make their home more green is a major priority. Today, we know a lot more about the way the construction process and daily functioning of our homes contributes to the negative impact on our environment, and we also have a lot more information on ways we can mitigate these harmful effects. A home’s roof is one area that typically carries a significant environmental impact, particularly asphalt roofing shingles. From the manufacturing process, to poor energy efficiency throughout its service life, to short lifecycle, to typical disposal in landfills, asphalt roofing shingles are undoubtedly one of the most polluting roofing materials.

The good news is that today, those of us that own asphalt shingles roofs can change a part of this equation by asking your roofing contractor to recycle rather than landfill your old asphalt shingles roof. While you may be surprised at the notion of recycling an asphalt shingles roof, as this has not been a common practice over the last few decades, modern recycling technology and practices actually make it possible. There is a growing number of asphalt roofing shingles recycling facilities across the states, a lot more state support for the practice and a growing number of roofing companies and roofing contractors getting behind asphalt roofing shingles recycling and propelling it forward. In fact, between 2009 and 2010, the rate of asphalt roofing shingles recycling has increased over 148 percent! What this ultimately means is that as a homeowner you can do your part by seeking out a roofing contractor that will recycle your old asphalt shingles roof. While an asphalt shingles roof will never be good for our environment, recycling it has a number of significant environmental benefits that have far reaching impact into the future well-being of our planet.

Understanding the lifecycle of asphalt roofing shingles

To appreciate the extent to which asphalt roofing shingles harm the environment it is necessary to look at this roofing product from a lifecycle perspective.

Composition and Manufacturing: Asphalt roofing shingles are made from 90% heavy oil (bitumen). Because of this, the manufacturing process necessitates the recovery and processing of petroleum, which is one of the biggest contributors to global warming worldwide.

Popularity: Part of the reason why asphalt roofing shingles are an environmental hazard is because of how popular their are both in residential and commercial construction projects. While many people are aware that asphalt shingles are not the greenest roofing product out there, their cheap price beats out all other considerations. Most people are on tight budgets, and if they can get a new roof for an average of $5,000, that is what they will go ahead and do. This is precisely why 7 out of 10 homes in America is still roofed with asphalt shingles, despite the growing awareness of their negative environmental impact.

Energy Efficiency: Asphalt roofing shingles are the least energy efficient material for your roof because they attract and absorb sun’s heat, raising the temperature inside the home by as much as 20-25 degrees, causing your cooling costs to skyrocket. Additionally, because asphalt roofing shingles absorb heat, they contribute to the overall increase in the heat island effect in the city, as well as smog and air pollution.

Durability and Longevity: Unfortunately, asphalt roofing shingles are not designed to last. Even a perfectly installed asphalt roof with good roofing underlayment and ventilation system, will rarely last 20 years or more. Most roofs are not installed this way and as a result will last between 10-15 years. Often, people who try to save of roof installation end up having to replace their asphalt roof after as little as 5 years. This is the reason why as much as 10 million tons of asphalt roofing shingles are removed from homes across the US every year and dumped into landfills.

Negative environmental impact of landfilling asphalt roofing shingles

There are a number of serious environmental issues associated with dumping asphalt roofing shingles into landfills.

1. Lack of precious space: as a country we are currently facing a landfill crisis, where our landfills simply cannot adequately absorb our collective waste. Asphalt shingles are very bulky, cannot be compressed and as a result take up a lot of space that could be used for other materials that cannot be recycled. This is why, tipping fees for asphalt roofing shingles have significantly increased over the years.

2. Wasted resources: asphalt roofing shingles are made up of 25% asphalt, which is costly to manufacture, once again requiring a lot of energy and petroleum. By landfilling this asphalt we are wasting a perfectly good material that can be used in numerous construction projects. This not only puts an additional burden on the environment but also squanders financial resources used to produce new asphalt, which can be redirected for other purposes. This is particularly important when it comes to state run construction projects, which are paid for with our hard-earned tax dollars. When asphalt roofing shingles get dumped into landfills, it is the same as our money being dumped there as well, instead of being used to fund more meaningful projects such as our public schools, etc

Benefits of asphalt shingles recycling

-Save energy and resources needed to dump asphalt shingles into landfills
-Save landfill space
-Lower greenhouse gas emissions
-Reduce the amount of new oil needed in manufacturing of asphalt and asphalt products, and reduce our country’s dependence on foreign oil
-Use recycled asphalt shingles in roads and pavement to produce stronger, longer lasting pavement with stronger resistance to cracking.
-Reduce government spending on new asphalt for construction and road building projects.
-Use recycled asphalt roofing shingles in a variety of other applications, such as cold patch, hot mix asphalt, rural roads, dust control, new roofing shingles, and more.

Locations of Asphalt Shingles Recycling Facilities in the North East

If you are a roofing company looking for a local asphalt shingles recycling facility in your area, you can refer to this complete list of facilities in New England:


The state of Connecticut has a general permit for the Storage and Processing of Asphalt Roofing Shingle Waste (ARSW). The state requires shingle recycling facilities to test quarterly for asbestos.

Asphalt Roofing Recycling Center

140 Watson Blvd.
Stratford, CT 06615
Facility only accepts asphalt roofing shingles and provides container for shingles.

United Recycling of Shelton

46 Oliver Terrace
Shelton, CT 06484


Commercial only. Facility accepts asphalt roofing shingles in addition to scrap metal, clean wood, separated wallboard scrap form new construction, asphalt, brick, concrete, old corrugated cardboard and pallets.

Incorporated Industries, LLC

180 West Newberry Road
Bloomfield, CT 06002
Facility accepts roofing shingles as well as clean wood, asphalt, concrete and sand.

Babylon Recycling Center, LLC

1221 Harvey Lane
Suffield, CT 06078
Facility accepts roofing shingles in addition to scrap metal, clean wood, separated wallboard scrap form new construction, asphalt, brick, concrete, pallets, gravel, stone and old corrugated cardboard.


Currently, there are two shingle recycling operators in the state of Delaware. The facilities are required to report the weight of shingles recycled, how much is processed and the sources the shingles come from.

Mike Davidson Enterprises, LLC

3051 Willow Grove Road
Camden-Wyoming, DE 19934

Tilcon Delaware Inc.

P.O. Box 858
Dover, DE 19903


The Maine Department of Environmental Protection has a beneficial use permit that allows the use of tear-off shingle scrap to be stored and processed. Only one shingle recycling facility is licensed in Maine and it has been storing and processing tear-off shingles since 1994.

Commercial Paving & Recycling Corporation

2 Gibson Road
Scarborough, Maine 04074
Fax 207.883.1121


The state of Maryland has a specification that allows the use of up to 5% manufacturers’ shingle scrap.

Accurate Recycling

896 Elk Mills Drive
Elkton, MD 21921
Contact: Dan Lasensky
E-mail: dan.lasensky@accuraterecycling.com

Asphalt Roof Recycling

1005 Rising Ridge Road
Mount Airy, MD 21771
Fax: 410.795.8796

Orange Cans, Inc.

750 North Saint Augustine Highway
Chesapeake City, MD 21915

Roll-Off Express

2900 Dede Road
PO Box 448
Finksburg, MD 21048
Fax: 410.526.6998
E-mail: rolloffjack@aol.com


Asphalt Reclamation, Inc

15 Cobbler Drive
Fitchburg, MA 01420
Email: Azickell@aol.com

Conigliaro Industries

701 Waverly Street
Framingham, MA 01702
Email: Fclerici@Conigliaro.com


P.J. Keating Company

998 Reservoir Road
Lunenburg, MA 01462
Email: jim.donohue@pjkeating.com
978-582-5200, x290


Recycle America Enterprise

50 Arbor Way
Fitchburg, MA 01420

Office of Kenneth Snow, P.E., LSP

12 Graystone Way
Southborough, MA 01772


Roof Top Recycling, Inc.

369 Codman Hill Road
Boxborough, MA 01719-1707
Phone: 508.726.5341 Fax: 978.263.1879

New Hampshire

At this time, there are no licensed asphalt shingle recycling facilities operating in the state of New Hampshire.

New Jersey

Currently, the state of New Jersey has a standard specification allowing the use of manufacturers’ recycled asphalt shingles in their HMA mixtures. However, the specification does not allow tear-off shingle scrap. You may contact the state representatives for more information.

Steve Rinaldi
Research Scientist
Recycling & Market Developing
New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
P.O. Box 414
Trenton, NJ 08625-0414
Ph: 609.984.4992

New York

Island Shingle Recycling Corp.

4331 Middle Country Rd.
Calverton, NY 11933

Triad Recycle and Energy Corp.

3755 River Rd.
Tonawanda, NY 14150
Email: Jhannon@triadrecycle.com


The state of Pennsylvania does not allow the use of tear-off shingle scrap.

Accurate Recycling Corporation

508 E. Baltimore Ave.
Lansdowne, PA 19050

Richard S. Burns and Company, Inc.

4300 Rising Sun Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19140
215.324.6377 x208

Crushcrete, Inc.

1965 Silvex
Bethlehem, PA 18015

Frank Casilio & Sons, Inc./Casilio Concrete
1035 Mauch Chunk Road
Bethlehem, PA 18018

Pennsy Supply

1001 Paxton Street
Harrisburg, PA 17105

Rhode Island

At this time, there are no licensed asphalt shingle recycling facilities operating in the state of Rhode Island.


Currently, the state of Vermont does not have a specification that allows the use of recycled asphalt shingles. The state is willing to work with companies who are interested in recycling shingles. You may contact James “Buzz” Surwilo for more information:

James “Buzz” Surwilo

Technical Assistance Section
Solid Waste Management Program
103 S. Main Street
Waterbury, VT 05671-0407
E-mail: james.surwilo@state.vt.us

How Asphalt Shingles Recycling Can Boost Your Roofing Business

It used to be that asphalt shingles and recycling were on the opposite sides of the fence as asphalt shingles have a long-standing history of being one of the most polluting construction materials that goes straight into our landfills after the end of its service life. Not any more. While around 10 million tons of old roofing shingles in the US still get dumped into landfills annually, growing concerns for the environment, and increasing scarcity of landfill space have created urgency in the industry to look for alternative ways to dispose of asphalt shingles, i.e. recycling.

Over the last decade, this push has lead to innovations in recycling equipment and procedures, now making it possible to recycle most asphalt roofing shingles and put them right back into the asphalt industry as road pavement material. To facilitate asphalt shingles recycling, more and more recycling facilities are opening up across the US, providing roofing contractors the opportunity to participate in protecting our environment from further damage and harmful accumulation of waste.

In addition to the fact that recycling asphalt roofing shingles is great for the environment, it also turns out to be great for business. How? The reason is simple: today more and more home and business owners are becoming educated and savvy about the environmental hazards posed by most construction materials. It is no longer a secret to most consumers that asphalt roofing shingles, which are made exclusively of oil – based by products, are highly polluting. Asphalt roofing shingles continue to be the most popular roofing material because of their cheap price and the inability of most people to afford superior and truly green roofing materials, such as metal roofing. However, this does not mean that consumers do not care or turn a blind eye to this problem. Quite the opposite is true, research shows that on a scale of 1-10 homeowners assign the importance value of 8 to having their asphalt roofing shingles recycled rather than dumped into a landfill.

Gain Marketing Edge

By switching to asphalt shingles recycling, you can make your roofing business more eco-friendly, and therefore a lot more attractive to your potential customers, even if you do not install other green roofing materials. By offering asphalt shingles recycling services and educating your customers about the benefits of asphalt shingles recycling, you are a lot more likely to be hired for the job over your competitors, who are not offering this service. Looking into the future, it is clear that consumer demand for environmentally safe construction and eco-friendly construction products will only continue to grow, and business that want to succeed need to adapt to these new high standards. In the long run, establishing yourself as an environmentally – friendly roofing business will translate into more satisfied customers, job referrals, and ultimately increased revenue.

Lower Tippage Fees

To encourage recycling of asphalt shingles, many recycling facilities are offering lower tippage fees than the ones you would pay at a landfill. Moreover, as landfill space fills up, you will see a continuous growth in landfill fees. By taking old asphalt shingles roofs to a recycling facility, you not only save the environment, you also save money.

Train and educate your crew

To make a successful transition to recycling asphalt roofing shingles, you need to educate and train your crew on the proper recycling procedure. Prior to taking asphalt shingles into a recycling facilities, your crew will need to separate the shingles from other construction debris such as plastic, metal, wood, dirt, rock, adhesives, other trash, etc. With proper training, this sorting procedure will not take too much extra time and will just be part of the regular clean-up routine after the roof installation. Your crew can also sort shingles right on the roof as they are being torn off, and place them into a separate container.

Find the right asphalt shingles recycling center

To get started on recycling asphalt roofing shingles, first you need to find out what the sorting requirements are at recycling facilities in your area. Some recycling facilities only accept “source separated” shingles, free from other construction debris. Other facilities accept “mixed roofing material”, which means that your crew will not need to sort through the asphalt shingles, as the recycling facility will take care of it on their own.

Make sure that you contact recycling facilities ahead of time to find out about such important factors as: materials quality specifications, their tipping fees, hours, scale procedures and other logistics. Also, ask the asphalt shingles recycling facility to provide you with evidence of their licenses and permits as required by local and state agencies. Learning this information will help you find a recycling facility that you can work with on a long-term basis in a way most beneficial and convenient for your business.

Asphalt Shingles Recycling Overview

In recent years, the building industry has been making a major effort to overhaul its traditional polluting practices and instead adhere to more green standards in production, processing and recycling of building materials. One of the construction materials that has been at the forefront of this transformation, is asphalt roofing shingles. Currently, the 10 million tons of asphalt roofing shingles that are removed from roofs across the US every year, account for about 5 % of total construction-related waste.

With an established reputation of being the cheapest roofing material, asphalt roofing shingles have historically been also one of the most hazardous to the environment throughout their life-cycle. Not only are asphalt shingles composed of 99% petroleum byproducts, are not energy-efficient for the home, they also have a rather short service life, sometimes as little as 5 years, typically ending up in a landfill. However, this all around bad for the environment situation is changing, as new screening and recycling equipment, recycling facilities, advanced research, government and industry support are making asphalt shingles recycling into a reality.

Safety of asphalt shingles recycling

One of the main reasons why asphalt roofing shingles have not been actively recycled in the past is due to the numerous human health and environmental factors associated with asbestos, a component found in asphalt roofing shingles. Because emissions of asbestos minerals has been found to be such a public threat, it has been deemed safer to dispose of asphalt roofing shingles by putting them into landfills, than to recycle them and risk releasing asbestos into the atmosphere.

However, since it has been discovered in the late 1960′s that workers exposed to asbestos suffered from serious illness such as cancer and asbestosis, US manufactures phased out the use of asbestos in the asphalt shingles manufacturing.This means that the majority of roofs that contained asbestos have long been discarded into landfills, and the newer roofs that need to be replaced now, do not contain asbestos and can be recycled.

Independent research and testing for asbestos in asphalt roofing shingles manufactured today reveals that total asbestos content is extremely low. In 1963, the total asbestos content in asphalt roofing shingles was about 0.0 2%; in 1977, it dropped to 0.00016 %. Because many old roofs that may contain traces of asbestos are covered with new shingles, it is estimated that traces of asbestos may continue to be found until about 2016.

Another dangerous element that poses health and environmental risks and presents a challenge in asphalt shingles recycling is PAH compounds, a group of organic chemicals that naturally occur in petroleum. Research indicates that elevated levels of exposure to this chemical lead are a health hazard. However, it is still unknown exactly which PAH compounds are released from asphalt roofing shingles during the recycling process, which makes prevention difficult.

Issues with asbestos and PAH exposures have lead states to adapt stringent regulations on asphalt roofing shingles recycling facilities. Federal law prohibits recycling of any asphalt roofing shingles found to contain asbestos. For many years, numerous states have simply prohibited asphalt shingles recycling. However, with more evolved screening and recycling equipment, better recycling practices and research, states have been more open to allowing more and more asphalt shingles recycling facilities to begin their operations. Currently, rules and regulations regarding proper recycling equipment, asbestos testing, special permits, safety regulations and other environmental testing vary state by state, and some states continue to limit the number of asphalt shingles recycling facilities on their territory.

Process of recycling asphalt roofing shingles

Recycling of asphalt roofing shingles involves the grinding of shingles and removal of all contaminants before they can be processed into new materials. Depending on the end use and sizing requirements, asphalt roofing shingles may go through secondary grinding. Contaminants that need to be removed include: metal, wood, rocks, dirt, paper, adhesives, and other construction debris. There are two general types of recycling facilities: 1. Source Separated: require that roofing contractors separate asphalt roofing shingles from other construction debris and will not take a mixed load; 2. Mixed Roofing Material: take a mixed load of asphalt roofing shingles and separate them on premises.

Industries that utilize recycled asphalt roofing shingles

One of the greatest advantages of recycling asphalt roofing shingles is that this material has numerous uses in a number of different industries. Asphalt shingles scrap is used in making asphalt pavement, aggregate base and subbase, cold patch for potholes, driveways, sidewalks, parking lots, ramps and bridges, new asphalt roofing shingles, as well as fuel oil. Using recycled asphalt shingles results in saving about 2.7 million tons of asphalt, which in turn translates into annual savings of 1.7 billion dollars for municipalities that take advantage of recycled asphalt shingles in their construction projects.

The role of roofing contractors in asphalt shingles recycling

Roofing contractors play a critical role in promoting asphalt shingles recycling. Roofers can make a decision whether they will take the old asphalt roofing shingles to a nearby landfill or to an asphalt shingles recycling facilities. For more roofing companies to get involved in asphalt shingles recycling will require easy-to-find information on the benefits of recycling, business incentives, presence of local recycling facilities, easy and smooth integration of the recycling practices into the operations of the roofing crew.

Many roofing contractors are already taking an active role in asphalt shingles recycling for a number of reasons:

-to help the environment
-to promote an eco-friendly brand image for their company
-to take advantage of the lower tipping fees at recycling facilities than at landfills

Roofing Manufacturers, such as Owens Corning, are also at the forefront of encouraging roofing contractors to recycle asphalt roofing shingles, providing roofers that work with them with special incentives, which include:

-information on finding local recycling facilities
-a discount on dumping fees at participating recycling centers
-priority listing on Owens Corning website and on www.Earth911.com, distinguishing the company as a “Preferred Shingle Recycler”
-professionally designed marketing materials for in-home selling and local marketing.

Why Asphalt Shingles Recycling is an Environmental Neccessity

One of the most effective ways to mitigate global warming and help our environment is through recycling. This is particularly true in the construction industry, which produces an overwhelming amount of waste – approximately 1/3 of all waste landfilled in the US is construction related. One of the construction materials that used to always go into landfills is asphalt roofing shingles, accounting for 5% of annual building related waste. However, because in recent years there has been mounting concern for the increasing scarcity of space in landfills, a growing body of evidence of the detrimental impact landfills have on the environment, increasing landfill tipping fees, the industry has started to make a shift toward asphalt shingles recycling.

While this new industry is still in its infancy, there is a growing number of asphalt shingles recycling facilities, more advanced recycling equipment, high standards for recycling safety practices, roofing companies willing to take on asphalt shingles recycling. As asphalt shingles recycling has taken off in a number of states, it has become increasingly obvious that asphalt shingles recycling has a great number of financial and environmental benefits that states and its citizens can take full advantage of.

Asphalt shingle disposal contributes to environmental problems with landfills

Landfilling asphalt shingles contributes to a serious environmental problem that landfills pose in the US. Asphalt shingles are not manufactured to be a long-lasting roofing system. Quite the opposite is the case; roofing shingles are known to be one of the least durable roofing materials, but their exceptionally low price still makes asphalt shingles the most popular roofing material, accounting for about 70 % of all roof installation projects. What this means for the environment is that this polluting material (asphalt shingles are made exclusively of petrolium products) needs to be discarded as quickly as every 5-10 years and replaced (often once again with asphalt roofing shingles). As a result, collectively we dump a whopping 11 million tons of asphalt roofing shingles every year, taking up valuable landfill space!

The problem with construction waste in general, and asphalt roofing shingles in particular going into landfills in such excessive amounts is that it not only takes up very expensive space, it also creates caps in landfills causing such harmful gases as methane to develop, which need to be monitored and treated for many years after the disposal. Moreover, asphalt roofing shingles take decades to decompose, and do not compact well.

Asphalt shingles and global warming

Construction waste is also known to contribute to air pollution and global warming because of emissions associated with transportation, compaction, and waste decomposition. Research conducted by the Washington State Climate Action Team indicates that finding alternative solutions to landfilling bulky construction waste such as asphalt roofing shingles, can eliminate approximately 1.7 million metric tons of harmful carbon dioxide emissions.

Disposing of asphalt shingles = financial losses to the state

Numerous research studies conducted on asphalt shingles recycling demonstrate that this practice results in significant financial gains. According to some estimates, recycling all 11 million tons of asphalt roofing shingles would amount to close to a $1 billion annual benefit in terms of reduced landfill tippage costs and cheaper recycled material availability that can be used in other industries.

In fact, it is financially irresponsible not to recycle asphalt roofing shingles. Consider the fact that the average asphalt content in disposed asphalt shingles is 25 % This translates into 2.7 millions tons of asphalt that get wasted in landfills annually, which could instead be reused in road construction projects. Failing to recycle asphalt roofing shingles is equivalent to loosing 1.7 billion dollars of reusable asphalt, money that municipalities have to pay, which in the end come out of tax payers pockets. By recycling asphalt roofing shingles, it is actually possible to use old asphalt shingles from one average sized roof to generate up to 200 feet of a two-lane highway.