Going Green

We’re also supporting the environment with GREEN Technology!

Recycling Your Roofing Shingles

In recent years, roofing shingles and other materials comprised nearly 40% of U.S. landfills. At roofing companies like Nico, however, there have been real strides made to curtail this wasteful practice, greatly cutting down on the presence of shingles in landfills.


There’s been an ongoing movement in Illinois to spread the practice of green roofing. This movement includes the installation of shingle recycling programs for nearly all types of shingle. Aluminum and steel are some of the easiest shingles to re-use, since many of them are recycled to begin with. Despite this ease of recycling, metal roofing is less commonly recycled, just because it is a less popular style of roofing.


The most commonly recycled shingles are asphalt shingles. Asphalt is not the easiest material to recycle, but it is commonly used in commercial roofing practices and therefore needs to be recycled regularly. Without the work of green companies like Nico, asphalt would fill up a lot of our country’s landfills.


There are some challenges to overcome when recycling asphalt shingles. A lot of scientific research and official studies have been conducted regarding asphalt shingles. These documents reveal the presence of several toxins within asphalt, including lethal substances like arsenic and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (or PAH). These poisons are incredibly dangerous to humans and animals, in some cases every proving to be carcinogenic to humans. For all these reasons, using asphalt in a recycled form poses a lot of issues. While these toxins can be inhaled, wind and rain can also carry it a great distance, where it can infiltrate water sources and harm thousands of people at once. This is why recyclers have to obtain something called a solid waste permit or Beneficial Use Determination in order to prove their intent to recycle these materials responsibly, without putting people’s lives in danger.


While there are some major dangers to overcome, ground asphalt is actually super handy in a variety of different applications, including:

  • Road Construction : Asphalt is commonly turned into road bedding. This is the foundation for new highways and can also be used in gravel paths.
  • Patch Additive: Roofers use ground asphalt as a filler in both hold and cold patch. Since asphalt is hardened and solidified in this condition, there is minimal threat to humans and restrictive solid waste standards do not apply.
  • Driveways: Asphalt is a great way to create a durable, even driveway for your home or business.
  • Miscellaneous: The debris from recycled asphalt is commonly used in horse arenas, landscaping practices, animal bedding, trails, and more!


Before hiring a professional roofer for re-roofing services or new installation, take the time to investigate how they handle their solid waste. Green companies can be a bit more expensive at times, but understand that the additional money is worth it since these practices will keep you and your family safe. As waste materials increase, landfill pollution can toxify ground water and basically run amok, causing damage throughout the world. Always take the time to ask these questions and get a real answer from any roofing contractor.


To replace and recycle your shingle roof call now at 773.319.6306
We offer an estimate for all of our roofing services.