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How to Properly Dispose of Old Roof Shingles

Being environmentally conscious these days is no longer a trend—it’s a necessity.  More and more homeowners are making sure to check greener boxes as they complete their lists of house projects.  Replacing a roof is perhaps one of the biggest projects of all, so what can you do to make sure you dispose of old roof shingles the proper way?

The main concern with roofing waste is not wanting it to end up in a landfill where it sits, taking up space and hurting the environment.  Millions of shingles are thrown out every year, especially those made of asphalt, the most popular roofing material.  With shingles taking 400 years to break down as they sit in a landfill, there must be a better way to dispose of old roof shingles.

dispose old shingles

Recycling Shingles

The most sensical method of disposing of old roof shingles is to recycle them.  Asphalt shingles are comprised of several different types of composites, some of which can go onto a second life of becoming an alternative material.  Things like pavement and hot-mix asphalt can be derived from old asphalt shingles, both of which improves the quality of cement.  Recycling asphalt shingles will transform them into materials used for community infrastructure needs like roadways as well as the added environmental benefit of decreasing the need for oil.

Most communities have centers that recycle asphalt shingles and these days with people being more environmentally conscious, there are many centers that are solely focused on recycling roofing materials.  These centers are also outfitted with machines that have powerful magnets that take out the roofing nails so there’s no need to remove them all yourself.

Some centers will require that the shingles are pre-ground or have other requirements that you’ll need to find out ahead of time first.  You’ll also need to ask if there’s a charge to donate (yes, some centers will charge you to donate shingles because of the labor involved in recycling them).  Other centers will pay for your shingles and sometimes it’s free to donate.

removing shingles

Donate: A Second Life

Donating shingles means giving them a second life on another roof.  Roofs are an expensive investment and donating shingles can help a low-income family tremendously.  You’d be surprised how long of a lifetime shingles have.  The average asphalt roof can last 15 to 20 years.

There are non-profit organizations like Habitat for Humanity and additional second-life resale stores that will take donated shingles.  You can also create an online post on social media platforms or classified ad websites.  You never know who needs your old roof shingles to get by with their own roof, finish a roof or paving project, or use them to complete much needed repairs.

Last Ditch Pitch

When you can’t recycle or donate your roofing shingles (because unfortunately, not all of them will be in good enough condition to be of service for another roof’s use or up to the standards of a recycling center), you’ll need to pitch them.  But is there a way to throw away no-good shingles that’s not harmful to the environment and considered proper disposal?

The answer is that it truly depends.  Some roofs back in the day were made with asbestos, which our modern times considers a harmful substance.  Inhaling and exposing yourself to asbestos is dangerous and can lead to extremely harmful health conditions so you shouldn’t go about removing your old roof shingles on your own.

If you aren’t fully positive if your roof was made with asbestos shingles, consult a professional first.  You’ll need to hire professionals to remove and dispose of asbestos roof shingles as well.  It’s more expensive to remove asbestos roofing materials, but there isn’t much of a choice due to the serious health ramifications they can cause.

For old and deteriorated shingles that can’t be reused or recycled, the easiest way to dispose of old roof shingles is by following these guidelines:

  • Call your local community services to find out if there are any requirements in disposing of old shingles.  Towns and cities can have differing regulations and requirements in shingle disposal, and you’ll want to avoid getting fined.
  • Rent a dumpster and toss old shingles in it, scheduling a pickup when the project is finished.  You can rent large dumpsters from the same company that services your weekly garbage pickups.  Tearing off shingles produces a lot of waste and this is the best way to go if you’re doing it yourself and have determined that all the shingles cannot be reused.
  • Installing a new roof: this means that your roofing contractor will take care of the shingle disposal for you as they install new materials in their place.
  • Hire a junk removal company: similar to paying to have a dumpster on-site for your shingle removal, you can also hire a company come to pick up old shingles and haul them away.

That’s the type of roof you get with Feldco. On top of that, we have factory trained installers that are ready to install asphalt shingles with the correct precision. Speak to a product specialist and get a free quote online today.

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