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Yorktown NY Roofing: Article About Recycling In The Roofing Industry

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Asphalt shingles weigh between 2 and 5 pounds per square foot of roofing area. With approximately two thirds of America's roofs covered in shingles, it's no wonder that about 10 million tons of shingles end up in the landfills every year. Fortunately, environmental researchers and "greentrepreneurs" have come up with a way to turn that waste into the raw materials needed for the paving industry. By that same spirit, other people have taken another nearly inexhaustible waste stream, used automobile tires, and diverted it to the roofing industry, linking two high volume, waste producing industries via recycling. Homeowners who are interested in participating in this recycling loop can ask their Yorktown NY roofing contractor whether the tear off from their existing roof will be recycled and whether using shingles made from recycled tires is a good fit for their home's structure and architecture.

When a roof is torn off, many roofers will recycle the old shingles instead of throwing them away. These shingles are taken to a recycling center where the metal and wood scraps are separated and sent to their own recycling facilities. The asphalt shingles are ground into half inch pieces and sent to paving companies to be incorporated into their paving mix.

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Roads made with recycled shingle content have been shown to last as long as or longer than those paved via traditional methods. Since asphalt shingles are the most popular material in use, there will continue to be a steady stream of materials for this new paving technique.

Another endless supply of waste comes from used automobile tires. According to the E.P.A., more than 290 million tires are thrown away every year. One company, Euroshield, has invented a use for some of those old tires: roofing tiles. Their tiles are made by grinding the tires, melting them and reforming them to look like slate, concrete or natural wood roofing shingles. Depending on the size of the house, each roof reuses anywhere from 600 to 1,000 old tires. The rubber tiles have a 50 year warranty, and at the end of their lifespan, they can be recycled again.

The roofing industry is becoming more and more ecofriendly. Roofing companies are recycling old shingles or including recycled content in their production of new ones. America's oldest and largest manufacturer of roofing materials, GAF, encourages its contractors to recycle tear off waste and even gives them a credit toward the purchase of new materials. CertainTeed roofing includes anywhere from 1 to 50 percent recycled content in its asphalt shingle production. Homeowners who want to make their home as green as possible can rest assured knowing their roof can also be a part of the green building process.

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