When it’s time to replace your roof, you want someone who’s going to do a good job — and that includes doing something good for the environment, too, in the form of recycling shingles.
Shingle debris from one average home can help pave 200 feet of a two-lane highway, and recycled shingles have the potential to contribute to 125,000 miles of paved highway each year — more than half the distance to the moon, according to the National Asphalt Paving Association.
So, how can you track down a contractor who will help you pave new roads with your old roof? Read on for tips.
Finding a Contractor Who Recycles Shingles
Back in 2009, when Owens Corning launched a first-of-its-kind recycling program to transform discarded roofing shingles into new asphalt roads, only a handful of communities in the U.S. offered shingle recycling.
As of 2013, more than 100 markets have shingle recycling available — reaching 60 percent of the U.S. population.
To track down a contractor near you, head to the Owens Corning Roofing Contractor database, where you’ll find a list of certified, well-trained contractors who have taken the company’s Shingle Recycling Pledge.
You’ll notice Platinum Preferred and Preferred rankings for each contractor on the list. Both meet high standards and satisfy strict requirements, but Platinum Preferred contractors receive more robust training and are the only contractors who can offer the company’s System Advantage Platinum Roofing Limited Warranty, which covers workmanship for life (as long as you own your home).
Be sure to ask the contractor if he or she is part of a manufacturer’s program, knows where the materials are going and their end use, and has processes in place to separate materials if necessary.For more advice on choosing the best contractor for you, take a look at thishandy checklistfrom Owens Corning, which provides a list of questions to ask when picking your contractor.
While browsing the list, you may also notice contractors in your area who have not taken the recycling pledge. To let these contractors know how much you care about recycling, click the “Help Green This Contractor!” button to notify each contractor that he or she may have lost out on business by not offering recycling services.
I Can’t Find One. Help!
If you can’t find a contractor in the Owens Corning database who has taken the recycling pledge, you live in an area where shingle recycling is not available — but this may be changing fast.
To promote shingle recycling across the country, Owens Corning reaches out to recycling companies and provides resources to get a program up and running that turns old roofs into new roads.
This typically involves connecting the recycler with local paving contractors to make sure the material is put to good use, as well as fielding questions about permits and how to process the material.
If your community does not offer recycling, click the “Help Green My City” button to send a message to Owens Corning alerting them that homeowners in your neighborhood are interested in recycling shingles. Calling around and asking about shingle recycling when you’re replacing your roof may also help spur the market in your area.
Approximately 10 million tons of recyclable shingle debris is removed from the roofs of homes and buildings each year in the U.S., so taking a moment to help ensure more of it is recycled can make a big impact.
To take your own version of the Shingle Recycling Pledge, head to the Owens Corning Shingle Recycling page.
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.