Asphalt Shingle Recycling in Colorado


When it comes to sustainability and environmental consciousness, Colorado is often seen as a progressive state. It's a place where preserving natural resources and adopting green policies are highly valued. However, there's a surprising fact that many Colorado residents may not be aware of: asphalt shingle recycling is not a reality in the state.

Are Roof Shingles Recyclable?

While technically recyclable, asphalt shingle recycling is tricky business. In addition to there being little to no demand for recycled shingles, there have been many instances of contractors misleading consumers by claiming to recycle shingles, charging higher prices for work and not following through. This is why it's crucial to do research and avoid roofing scams.

In September 2015, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment took a definitive stance on asphalt shingle recycling – they declared that these materials are no longer considered recyclable in the state. This decision came as a shock to many, given Colorado's reputation for being environmentally conscious.

This revelation is crucial for homeowners to understand, especially when faced with roofing projects. Some roofing companies claim to be "green" and advertise shingle recycling as a part of their services. This can be enticing for homeowners who want to make environmentally responsible choices and avoid contributing to landfills for generations to come.

The Pitfall of "Green" Roofing Services

Unfortunately, many of these so-called "green" roofing services come at a premium price. Homeowners, eager to do their part for the environment, may find themselves paying significantly more for these services. The reality is that, in Colorado, there's no practical way to recycle asphalt shingles, which raises questions about the authenticity of these claims.

Why Tear-offs Are Not Feasible for Road Base

The contemporary discourse on using recycled asphalt shingles (RAS), particularly tear-offs, for asphalt pavements is becoming increasingly intricate and demanding. Tear-off shingles are the waste produced by removing old or damaged shingles, and there’s a prevailing belief they can be repurposed within road construction, reducing waste and potentially providing structural benefits. However, the practical and structural feasibility of integrating tear-off shingles in road bases is far from straightforward, requiring nuanced consumer understanding. 

For more information, check out this article, Using recycled asphalt shingles in asphalt pavements.

So, What Can You Do?

Instead of falling for the allure of asphalt shingle recycling promises, consider alternative roofing materials that are genuinely eco-friendly. These options not only reduce your environmental impact but also provide long-term benefits:

  • Metal Roofing: Metal roofs are highly durable and can last for decades. They are often made from recycled materials and can be recycled again at the end of their lifespan.
  • Plastic and Synthetic Composite Materials: Roofing materials like plastic and synthetic composites are designed to be more sustainable. They offer excellent durability and can often be recycled when it's time for a replacement.
  • Solar Roofing: If you're looking to make an even greater eco-friendly impact, consider solar roofing options. Solar panels can be integrated into your roof, harnessing renewable energy and reducing your carbon footprint. 
  • Plastic and Synthetic Composite Materials: Roofing materials like plastic and synthetic composites are designed to be more sustainable. Often made with up-cycled rubber, plastic, etc. They offer excellent durability and can often be recycled when it's time for a replacement.

Making informed choices about your roofing materials can not only help you reduce your environmental impact but also save you money in the long run. So, the next time you need a roof replacement, consider searching for a CRA member to ensure credibility and avoid scams. Also make sure to speak with your chosen contractor about selecting a roofing material that aligns with your commitment to a greener future. This proactive approach not only benefits the environment but also safeguards your investment, ensuring you have a durable and sustainable roofing solution for years to come.