A Year in Shingle Recycling

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When getting ready to replace a roof, many people don’t know that the shingles can be recycled — and turned into new products like roads.

Up to 10 million shingles are torn off homes and buildings every year. Most are land-filled, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Shingles can avoid the trash thanks largely to Owens Corning, which set up a first-of-its-kind shingle recycling program back in 2009. The company develops, manufactures and markets insulation, roofing and fiberglass composites.

By the Numbers

With several years under its belt, the program only continues to grow. Here’s what it accomplished just last year:

  • Reached an estimated 1.2 million tons recycled, a 33 percent increase from the estimated 900,000 tons recycled in 2013
  • Added 55 contractors who made the pledge to recycle, bringing the total number to 563 contractors in the Owens Corning Roofing Contractor Network committed to recycling
  • Upped the percentage of the population with access to a qualified shingle recycler to 65 percent
  • Collected the pledge of 749 homeowners who promise to recycle their shingles when they replace their roof

That all brought the total of recycled shingles to more than 2.9 million tons since the program’s inception.

How You Can Get Involved

Want to be part of 2015’s stats? Recycling your roof is like recycling more than 100 percent of a year’s worth of household waste. That’s a pretty big impact. Visit Owens Corning’s website to see if there are qualified contractors in your area who are committed to sustainable solutions for replacing a roof. Then take the Shingle Recycling Pledge and know that you’re doing your part to pave roads in the future.

Feature image courtesy of Flickr.com/Andrew Collins

Editor’s Note: Earth911 partners with many industries, manufacturers and organizations to support its Recycling Directory, the largest in the nation, which is provided to consumers at no cost. Owens Corning is one of these partners.

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Haley Shapley

Haley Shapley is based in Seattle, where recycling is just as cool as Macklemore, walking in the rain without an umbrella, and eating locally sourced food. She writes for a wide range of national and regional publications, covering everything from sustainability and health to travel and retail.