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.