Try asking Google for "shingle recycling near me," or, "Can asphalt shingles be recycled?"
If you tried that, you'll find a lot of websites about shingles, recycling, and maybe even a few about recycling asphalt shingles, but what you won't find is information about how to have your old shingles recycled in Colorado.
If you're a Colorado homeowner and you're concerned about the landfill problems we have here, you have good reason to be concerned. Every year twelve million tons of asphalt shingle waste is thrown into America's landfills!
What can be done about this enormous problem?
Some of the major shingle manufacturers are beginning to make their shingles with processes that make them easier to recycle, but the problem is less with the actual material and more with the policy of shingle recycling in the state of Colorado.
According to a page on the Colorado Roofing Association's website, "The Colorado Department Of Public Health And Environment adopted a policy in September, 2015 that asphalt roofing shingles are no longer considered a recyclable material in Colorado."
The article continues, saying, "Industry research and recycling facility data evaluation has shown that there is little or no demand for recycled shingles." (emphasis added)
The reason you need to be aware of this is because there are roofers who claim to be "green" and say that they recycle the shingles they're tearing off your house. This is appealing to many homeowners who feel environmentally responsible and don't want to have their shingles buried in a landfill somewhere and stay there for the next several millennia.
Not only that, but businesses that have jumped on the "environmental bandwagon" usually charge a premium for their services, so a homeowner ends up paying more for that roofer than she needs to.
Don't get me wrong... I'm all for recycling shingles - if it can be done. If we could recycle the shingles we tear off your house, it would prevent tons of waste and debris from unnecessarily being buried outside our city; waste and debris that will decompose painfully slowly. Additionally, recycled shingles can be turned back into road-base, trail-base, playground surfaces, and even new roofing materials.
So What Can Be Done?
Instead of installing asphalt shingles the next time you have your house re-roofed, consider using a material that is made from recycled materials or which can be recycled in the future. Options for you would be metal or plastic and synthetic composite materials.
I'm actually not a big fan of metal roofing, but I do see a lot of promise with the composites. The one I'm most impressed with is Brava Roof Tile, but there are several others, too. Brava impresses me because their products are made from recycled materials and can be recycled if your roof ever needs to be replaced.
However, I've seen the product and, in my opinion, Brava is virtually indestructible! I seriously doubt that you would ever have to have your roof replaced again if you install this product.
In summary, if a roofing contractor tells you his company is "green" and recycles your old shingles, he's not being honest with you.
To begin eliminating and preventing asphalt shingles from ending up buried "in your backyard," consider installing metal or composite roofing materials.