How to Properly Dispose of Asphalt Roof Shingles

Old asphalt shingles starting to pull away from the roof.

As your home ages, your roofing will need to be replaced and the old shingles will need to be tossed away. Asphalt is one of the most common materials for shingles, and as such, millions of tons of them are thrown out every year. However, before generating more waste for your local landfill, consider alternative disposal solutions first.


With the world becoming more environmentally conscious every day, the movement to recycle asphalt shingles has been growing. Shingles take 400 years to break down in a landfill, which is a huge waste when you consider that they can easily be reused. There are composites in asphalt that are beneficial in creating other materials, the biggest being pavement and hot-mix asphalt, which improves cement quality. Therefore, recycled shingles are commonly used in public paving projects like roadways, decreasing the need for new materials such as oil.

There are many centers dedicated to the recycling of asphalt shingles. Make sure to call ahead to inquire about any requirements that may have. Some places, for example, only allow pre-ground shingles while others will do the cleaning and grinding at the center. No matter the center, there is no need to remove the nails on your own. A powerful magnet takes care of that while they're being recycled. Pricing will vary as well; sometimes there’s a charge to donate, sometimes centers will actually pay you, and other times donations are free.


Organizations that help low-income families with housing needs may be glad to take your shingles if they are re-usable. You can also post on websites where people buy, trade, or give away items related to construction, as another person may be able to use your roofing waste for repairs or for their own paving project.

Throw Away

Not all shingles can be recycled or donated, unfortunately. If yours don't meet the guidelines provided by a recycling facility, you will need to arrange for them to be disposed of. With a large amount of waste, it’s easiest to rent a dumpster. There’s usually a fee for shingle disposal, so find out before you go with a dumpster.

If your asphalt shingles contain other harmful substances like asbestos, special precautions should be taken. Anything with asbestos should be handled by the proper waste control authorities, so if you see it when removing your old roofing, stop immediately and call a professional. This way, you will stay safe and you can rest assured that the material will be taken to the proper place for responsible disposal. If you've still seen fit to remove the shingles yourself, do not simply take them to the dump. Call the local authorities for disposal instructions instead.