Demolition and Asset Recovery’s Next Profitable Material: Asphalt Shingles

New RoofConcrete and steel are the traditional darlings of demolition and asset recovery firms. Concrete can be ground down into fill, and steel can be endlessly recycled without a drop in quality. However, there’s a new kid on the block: asphalt shingles, which are quickly becoming the a profitable material in Construction and Debris (C&D) recovery.

End Markets for Reclaimed Asphalt Shingles (RAS)

Any recyclable material’s profitability largely depends on its potential applications. End market uses for asphalt shingles include:

Asphalt for Roads.  Asphalt shingles may be used in cold asphalt patching, warm-mix asphalt, hot-mix asphalt, and aggregate.

Dust Control. Asphalt shingles can be used in mixtures that reduce dust on temporary and rural roads.

Fuel Stock. Asphalt shingles contain crude oil, which makes a strong fuel for cement kilns.

New Asphalt Shingles. Research shows that new shingles can include up to 20% RAS without any compromise in performance.

Oftentimes, the inclusion of asphalt shingles can cut costs while improving outcomes. For instance, hot-mix asphalt with a small ratio of RAS is less likely to rut or crack. Moreover, it’s more cost-effective to use RAS in hot-mix asphalt, rather than virgin concrete and aggregate.

Substantial environmental benefits accrue from recycling roof shingles. Every year, 10 million tons of torn off shingles are thrown away. Instead of than sending these used shingles to the landfill, demolition firms can recycle them. Shingles are fairly easy to recycle, as they’re easy to keep in a separate waste stream. Recycling shingles means that less material is sent to landfills, and that fewer emissions are released in producing virgin materials.

[photo by: on Flickr via CC License]

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