What is it?
Asphalt shingles are made of either an organic or a fiberglass mat that is saturated with asphalt and covered by ceramic grains. Fiberglass-based asphalt shingles are manufactured with a base of glass fibers while organic-based shingles have a base composed of cellulose fibers, such as waste paper and wood fibers. Asphalt shingles make up 10% of the Construction, Renovation & Demolition (CRD) waste stream.
What is the issue?
Although shingles have potential to be recycled and reused, they make a large contribution to the waste accumulating in landfills. The nails in shingle waste cause problems with landfill equipment, often damaging their tires. Shingles manufactured before 1980 may contain asbestos. This can lead to serious health issues for people exposed to them, potentially causing lung diseases and cancer.
Where can it go?
There are several companies, landfills, and waste transfer stations across the province that are willing to collect shingles. Check out our database under "Construction/Demolition" to find options near to you.
What happens after?
To prepare shingles for use in new products, the shingles must be ground and contaminants like nails and wood removed. Because shingles contain asphalt, the most common recycling options involve feeding them back into processes that use asphalt. Ground and cleaned shingles can also be used as aggregate in road beds. The use of shingles in paving mixes needs to be tested and approved for use by Sask. Highways
How can I reduce?
If your asphalt shingles are still in good shape, install them on the roof of a storage shed or dog house.
Put asphalt shingles on your driveway to absorb/prevent oil stains when changing the oil in your car.
Give security and traction to the floorboards in your unfinished attic by nailing shingles to the planks.
Place old shingles around plants to keep weeds from cropping up.