According to The National Association of Home Builders, between two-thirds to four-fifths of homes in the United States have roofs made of asphalt shingles. The average life span of an asphalt shingle roof in the U.S. is 15-30 years, depending on area of the country in which the home is located.
The significance of these statistics becomes very important when you consider that approximately 11 million tons of asphalt shingle waste is generated in the U.S. each year¹.
What happens to all of that waste?
In the days of yesteryear, the old shingles would have been removed from the home site and simply thrown in a landfill. However, landfills are getting full, dump fees are rising, and the general public is more environmentally aware than ever before.
Enter Asphalt Shingle Recycling- from roof to road, this process is cost-saving and environmentally friendly. The process saves landfill space, reduces our carbon footprint, and saves municipalities’ precious budget money for new roadwork.
Let’s start from the beginning and take a look at how the typical recycling process works:
When an asphalt shingle roof is removed from a home, the recyclable materials (shingles, paper, nails) are separated from the rest of the on-site waste. The shingles are taken to a recycling facility, where the material is tested for Asbestos. If no Asbestos is found, the shingles are prepared for recycling. The shingles are run through a grinder and fed through a screen plant. The screen plant separates the product into particles that are an acceptable size for hot asphalt paving, and those that are not. The large particles can then be run through the grinder again and made to spec.
Why a CEC Screen-It®?
The CEC Screen-It® is ideal for the Recycling Asphalt Shingle (RAS) process because of the shake and angle of the screen box. Material floats down the screens allowing it to pass through the screen cloth, as opposed to being forced through a trommel screen. A magnetic head pulley can also be used during processing to remove any metal left in the mix. More deck time to screen any paper and plastic, and a magnet to remove metal means a pure end product.
The finished product has many uses: it can be added into hot mix asphalt for road paving, mixed with aggregates for the base of new roads, and used for road patch repair.
¹ U.S. EPA Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response “Tearoff Asphalt Shingle Recycling”