The Asphalt Economy – Asphalt Recycling Matters More Than Ever

Asphalt is an incredibly useful and versatile material. It’s the most recycled material on Earth and can be used from everything from roadways, to parking lots, to roof shingles. Learn more about the fascinating world of the asphalt economy and how sustainable it is in the infographic below:




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Asphalt is the currently the most recycled material on Earth


Asphalt At A Glance


  • Asphalt: Refined, solid-state petroleum made from distilling crude oil
  • Also referred to as bitumen
  • Composed of five major elements
    • Carbon
    • Hydrogen
    • Sulfur
    • Nitrogen
    • Oxygen


  • Prized for its
    • Binding capabilities
    • Structural strength
    • Temperature resistance


  • Used to create
    • Roadways
    • Waterproof surfaces
    • Parking lots
    • Roof shingles


  • In 2019, the United States
    • Produced 420 million tons of asphalt
    • Housed more than 3,600 asphalt production sites
    • Owned 36 billion barrels of bitumen deposits


Asphalt is a 100% renewable construction resource


Understanding The Asphalt Economy

  • Asphalt has a circular lifecycle


  • Once asphalt has reached the end of its life, it’s picked up by a recycling company
  • Recycling companies subject the material to a process that extracts usable asphalt from extraneous waste
  • Recovered materials are resold to providers for paving, shingling, waterproofing, and more


Roughly 99% of all asphalt pavement is recovered every year, protecting people, property, and our planet


Asphalt Recycling Benefits Everyone


  • Recycled asphalt saves American taxpayers more than $1.8 billion dollars
    • The average shingled roof provides enough asphalt to pave 200 feet of a 2 lane highway
  • Stops 2.4 million metric tons of CO2e from entering the atmosphere
    • Up to 61% reduction of greenhouse gases
  • Prevents 11 tons of shingle waste from entering the landfill
    • More than 8.8 million tons of asphalt go to the dump every year
  • Reduces US dependence on foreign oil sources, up to 7.86 million barrels per day
    • Dependence costs ran up to $116 billion in 2014
  • Cuts processing costs to just $25 per recycled batch
    • Manufacturing new asphalt costs an average of $600 per ton


Today, the asphalt recovery market is a $7.1 billion dollar industry


The Booming Business Of Shingle Recovery


  • There are more than 50 roofing recovery sites in more than 20 states
    • A CAGR of 5.9% between 2020 and 2027
  • Asphalt demands in the US are projected to rise 3% year over year
  • Recycling programs available for both hot and cold mix asphalt
  • Sustainable programs reduce binder manufacturing costs by 35%
  • Addresses the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act
  • Vermont Act 175 made shingle recycling mandatory
    • More states are expected to follow


“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” — Albert Einstein


How Asphalt Shingles Are Recycled


  • Closed loop recycling process
  • Bitmuten is pulled from the shingle using a specialized solvent
  • Four step proprietary extraction process:


  1. Mill: The post ground waste asphalt shingle (WAS) is ground into coarse chunks to remove nail debris
  2. Mix: Shingle chunks are mixed with a solvent to create a fluid slurry that dissolves the bitumen
  3. Extraction: Solid waste sinks to the bottom of the tank, while bitumen and the rest of the solvents rise to the surface
  4. Distill: The remaining solution is heated to separate all solvents from the oil, which allows solvent to be saved and oil to be cleaningly packaged.


  • 95% asphalt & bitumen recovery
  • Allows for the resale of:
    1. Asphalt
    2. Asphalt shingles
    3. Bitumen oil


The asphalt economy isn’t the future; it’s already here