In our world today, every industry has started taking steps to reduce the waste that they produce and conduct their business more sustainably.
The roofing industry is one such industry. Roofers encourage homeowners to invest in more environmentally friendly roofing materials like metal, solar shingles, and green roofing options.
For years, asphalt shingle roofing, while affordable, was notorious for being the least environmentally friendly roofing material. Asphalt shingles are a byproduct of crude oil. Therefore, not only is the roofing material made from a non-renewable resource, but it is also one of the roofing materials with the shortest lifespan.
Once asphalt shingle roofing systems have reached the end of their lifespans, they are usually torn off and sent straight to a landfill. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, 13 million tons of asphalt waste is produced every year by the roofing industry.
The paving and road construction industry recycles about 10% of the 13 million tons of asphalt and uses it to construct new roads and paving across the country.
However, that still leaves about 12 million tons of waste making its way to landfills. And due to its engineering, this asphalt waste takes about 300 years to decompose.
Recognizing this issue and their responsibility as a leading asphalt shingle manufacturer, GAF has attempted to turn the tide on asphalt waste and produced the roofing industry’s first asphalt shingle containing Recycled Asphalt Shingles (RAS).
GAF’s recycling process involves grinding down old, torn-off asphalt shingles into a more refined RAS material. Once this is achieved, the RAS is then introduced into their manufacturing process.
While testing out the recycling and manufacturing process of the GAF RAS material, the manufacturers were able to reclaim 90% of the waste material and create a new roofing shingle made up of 15% recycled asphalt material. The GAF RAS has been certified as safe and effective by UL, a global leader in safety science.
The new GAF RAS aims to reduce the amount of virgin asphalt produced and used in the roofing industry and thus reduce the amount of waste produced by the roofing industry.
While this is still a pilot project, GAF aims to create a sustainable circular economy. They are currently developing a shingle that consists of a higher percentage of RAS without compromising the quality and standard of GAF roofing materials.
For information on asphalt roofing systems, GAF roofing materials, or roofing in general, give Nextgen Roofing a call today!