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Denver Roofing: Article About Recycling

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Across the U.S. about 10 million tons of asphalt shingle waste each year is trucked into landfills where it will take about 300 years to decompose. Simply manufacturing asphalt shingles creates another one million tons of waste. Luckily, there's a new movement afoot to keep some of those old roofs from entering the local waste stream, and most of that effort centers around recycling.

When a roof has outlasted its usefulness, it's often torn off to make way for a new roof. These roof tear offs generate one to three tons of asphalt shingle waste. Since roof shingles contain about 40 percent petroleum based asphalt, recycling one ton of asphalt shingles eliminates the need for two barrels of petroleum. Every time a trusted Denver roofing contractor recycles one home's shingle roof, two to six barrels of oil are saved. With these figures in mind, even diverting one home's roofing waste from a landfill can make a significant difference.

Much of the motivation behind shingle recycling is the environmental benefit, but recycling asphalt shingles can save money, too. Fees at local recycling centers are usually less expensive than at landfills, and recycling saves the cost of many barrels of oil.

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While shingle recycling has been around for a while, several local recycling initiatives were launched within the last five years. Now, when a shingle has done its job on the rooftop, it can be taken to a nearby shingle recycling center and broken down for use in paving material, aggregate, fuel oil production and manufacturing new asphalt shingles.

Asphalt shingles aren't the only recyclable roofs though. Most metal roofs contain about 28 percent recycled material and can be recycled without end, remaining a continuous part of the roofing, manufacturing and recycling process. Metal roofs also tend to last more than twice as long as asphalt shingles, so there's less tear off waste over the long haul too.

Clay and cement tiles also have notable environmental value. Since these roofing products are made from mineral based materials and are non toxic, they are a natural candidate for recycling and reuse. Like metal, clay and cement tiles have a long lifespan so they generate less tear off and landfill waste. Concrete tile roofs also have a unique environmental advantage in that their composition allows them to absorb 20 percent of surrounding carbon dioxide emissions.

Solar and cool roof systems may be the new trendsetters of the roofing industry, but sustainable and recyclable roofs are an important part of eco friendly roofing. Choosing to recycle old asphalt shingles, metal or tile roofs is just another way homeowners can do their part.

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