An Industry First: Shingles with Recycled Asphalt Content

An Industry First: Shingles with Recycled Asphalt Content

In a first for the roofing industry, a newly-patented manufacturing process developed by GAF has global implications for improving sustainability and increasing material circularity across the roofing supply chain.

Each year, the U.S. produces nearly 13 million tons of asphalt waste, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Some of this waste includes old shingles that are torn off of roofs at the end of their life cycle, which typically end up in landfills, to the detriment of the economy and the environment.
As the largest roofing manufacturer in North America, GAF, a Standard Industries company, saw an opportunity to divert this waste back into the manufacturing process. Now, after extensive research and development, the company has announced the successful production of the first-ever roofing shingle containing recycled asphalt content. GAF is committing over $100 million to bring this patented technology to scale across its commercial operations, launching a pilot program in 2021 that will expand research and maximize the amount of recycled asphalt that can be used, while ensuring that the quality and reliability of GAF’s products remain the number one priority.

“The potential of this product clearly makes it the most significant sunstainability initiative that we, at GAF,

have ever taken on.”

Jim Schnepper, President of GAF, in interview with Fast Company
At grinding facilities, shingle waste is ground into reusable, asphalt-rich material, which can be reintroduced into the manufacturing process.
The recycled shingle technology begins by transporting asphalt shingle tear-off waste from job sites to grinding facilities, where the shingles are ground into a reusable, asphalt-rich material. From there, the recycled asphalt can be reintroduced into the shingle manufacturing process. During trials at its plant in Tampa, Florida, GAF has successfully reclaimed 90% of the shingle waste material for reuse (including the clean removal of the rock granules that would otherwise degrade the quality of a recycled shingle), manufacturing shingles that contain up to 15% recycled asphalt content while meeting UL standards for safety and effectiveness.
As a leader in the roofing industry, GAF recognizes its responsibility to help build a circular economy for asphalt, encouraging other companies and industry leaders to follow suit. GAF plans to scale the technology across its shingle plants, while pursuing similar circular applications across other product lines. The recycled shingle technology is just one step toward this goal of achieving material circularity, but it already has significant implications for improving sustainability in the roofing supply chain.