Recycled asphalt shingles have been identified as being one of the most promising sources of material for recyling within the construction and demolition waste stream. While still in the early stages of development, the sector has shown substantial growth in recent years. The enterprise of asphalt shingle recycling is anticipated to enjoy an accelerated growth curve in the years ahead as oil prices and landfill tippage charges both both continue to rise, making recycling an increasingly attractive option.
This emerging sector of the recycling industry offers the potential for participants to profit both from tippage fees paid by construction and demoliton participants dropping off material so as to avoid higher tippage charges at landfills, as well as from the sale of processed material for applications such as hot-mix asphalt and others.
Around 11 million tons of asphalt shingle waste is created annually in the U.S., accounting for about 10 percent of the construction and demolition debris entering the waste stream. Around 10 million tons of the shingle debris is generated by demolition and renovation activities, while manufacturing scrap accounts for about another million tons.
One estimate suggests that if all material was recycled, there would be close to a $1 billion annual benefit in terms of reduced landfill tippage and cheaper recycled material availability.
Benefits of Asphalt Shingle Recycling
Benefits of asphalt shingle recycling include:
- Reduced tippage fees to construction and demolition sector offered by recyclers versus landfills
- Reduced pressure on landfills
- Cheaper input materials for applications such as hot-mix asphalt and cold patch
- Reduced energy consumption for recycled material versus the use of virgin material