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You May Not Know It...But You Could Be Driving On Someone’s Roof

July 13, 2011

DES MOINES, Iowa - Iowans are driving on roads that once were someone's roof.

When people re-shingled their homes in years gone by, the old shingles ended up in a landfill. Now, those asphalt shingles can be turned into a mixture that can be used to resurface roads. Metro Waste Authority started this type of recycling last year.

Those planning to have their home or business re-roofed should ask the roofer if they will recycle the old shingles, says Metro Waste spokeswoman Amy Hock.

"You can ask them, and you should ask them, if they recycle their shingles, and you can request that - and it should not cost you any more to do that."

Roofers get a discount for bringing clean loads of shingles without extra debris to Metro Waste Authority sites for recycling, Hock says. Grinding up the shingles for reuse also saves money for road builders, she says.

"The ground asphalt shingles have a certain amount of oil in them that allows those asphalt companies to not have to use so much of the virgin materials. They can use the ground shingles."

The ground-shingle mixture has been approved by the Iowa Transportation Department for use in any of its projects, Hock says. Any roofer in the state can bring in old shingles, and any road contractor can purchase and use the recycled product.

The Iowa Recycling Association is recognizing Metro Waste Authority for its shingle-recycling efforts with a "Recycling Project of the Year" award.

Dick Layman, Public News Service - IA