Going Green

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Recycling Asphalt Shingles


In the United States alone, nearly 125 million squares of asphalt shingles are installed annually. A square of asphalt shingles weighs around 240 pounds, resulting in the average roof weighing in around three to four tons. Thus, significant waste results when a roof needs replaced due to either age or damage.


A major source of roof damage is hail. According to the Federal Alliance of Safe Homes, hail causes more than $1.6 billion in roof damage annually. In early May of 2016, the community of Lincoln, Nebraska experienced a significant hail storm, with a reported maximum hail size of 4.25 inches, and an average hail size of 1.62 inches. It is estimated that over 77,000 buildings in the area experienced damage from this hail storm, with roofs suffering the most damage. Hail damage to this extent often requires roof replacement, and thus, significant asphalt shingle waste results.


Where does this waste go?


Perhaps you have seen large amounts of shingles getting shipped by the semi-load to the landfill after large hail storms, adding more and more petroleum waste to the landfill.


Fortunately, a better alternative exists: recycling.


Recycled asphalt shingles are most commonly repurposed as a component in hot mix asphalt to fix potholes and create new pavement for roads. In fact, the asphalt shingle waste from one average-sized home can pave up to 200 feet of a two-lane highway. Pavement created from recycled shingles is not only more cost-effective, but it is also more resistant to wear and moisture and is less likely to experience deformation, rutting, and cracking due to heat and fatigue.


At Apple Roofing, the roofing crews go the extra step to separate out the metals from the asphalt shingle debris before sending the asphalt to recyclers. Not only does this help limit the amount of petroleum waste added to landfills, but it also helps improve our roads. Apple Roofing crews also take care to recycle other waste – such as aluminum gutters – further helping reduce their carbon footprint.

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