Reduce, Repurpose, and Recycle: How to Minimize Roofing Waste in Landfills

With landfill gases and air quality problems increasing due to more waste being thrown out, the roofing industry is doing their part to minimize roofing waste from reaching landfills. Many Roofing Contractors try to help reduce unnecessary replacement of material, repurpose used material, and recycle what can’t be reused or transformed.


At Sentry Roof Services, we want to help our customers and give them the best advice about their roof conditions. If a full replacement is in order because repair is no longer an option, we advise customers on the best roof replacement for their budget. If repairs are all that are needed, we are honest with our customers and help get their roof back into top condition. Sentry Roof Services also encourages our customers to have a maintenance plan, which will help extend the life of their roof system by keeping it in top overall condition. Maintenance can also assist in reducing overall roofing costs.


The rubber roofing membrane that is on a ballasted roof can be removed in reusable sheets. Since this membrane is held down by river rocks, there are no nail punctures in the material. This rubber membrane can be used as heavy-duty weed barriers, ditch or pond liners, or rubber mulch. For inexpensive buildings (like outbuildings, barns, or sheds) these sheets can be reused as roofing material.

On these ballasted roofs, the river rocks – if in reusable condition – can also be repurposed in landscaping or even reused on roofs. Insulation from roofing systems can also be repurposed as insulation. It can be used to insulate fountain walls, basements, crawl spaces, or even as low-cost insulation alternatives.


Several roofinmaterial manufacturers are jumping on board with creating recycling programs for contractors to help recycle used roofing material. Firestone is part of the Industry Recycling Partnership for EPDM roofing waste. The program offers jobsite collection and transportation of roofing materials and insulation directly to a recycling center. It also provides savings on waste disposal and qualifies as LEED credits.

Another roof waste recycling program is the From Roofs to Roads program. This program helps recycle old asphalt shingles into paving material for roads. The Environmental Protection Agency created a great document on the recycling process, end-use options, and benefits from recycling shingles. With this program, we are not only reducing waste from our landfills but we are also providing material to keep our roads paved.

The ever increasing need for roof repairs and replacement will continue with a rising population, renovation of buildings, and new construction. At Sentry Roof Services, we plan to continue doing our part to reduce, repurpose, and recycle the roofing waste from our job sites. We hope you do your part, big or small, to help minimize landfill waste.

Additional resources:

EPA From Roofs to Roads

Construction Materials Recycling Association

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