10 Ways to Re-Use Asphalt Roof Shingles

August 23, 2011 12 comments View all articles in Re-Use-It

According to a 2007 report by the Northeast Recycling Council, an estimated 11 million tons of asphalt shingles are manufactured and disposed of each year. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that shingle waste (installation scraps and tear-offs from re-roofing) accumulates to form 8 percent of the total building-related waste stream. Asphalt cement made through the partial refinement of petroleum and toxic, non-decomposing fiberglass are the two main components of roofing shingles, and are what have amassed in our nation's landfills.

While some roofing contractors have access to recycling centers that convert shingles into new asphalt, roadway patches, new roofing, and fuel, there are still plenty of contractors – and certainly the whole of the general public – who are without such means. This doesn't mean shingles can't be repurposed and kept out of landfills even after they've been pulled off your roof.


  • If you live in Texas, Florida, Ohio, or Pennsylvania you can possibly recycle your asphalt shingles. Visit ShingleRecycling.org for more information.
  • If your asphalt shingles aren't too old and worn, install them on the roof of a storage shed or dog house.
  • Glue a few asphalt shingles together and paint “Welcome” on top in colorful letters. Bingo – you've got yourself a homemade doormat!
  • Put asphalt shingles on your driveway to absorb oil stains, or to prevent stains when changing the oil in your car.
  • Give security and traction to the floorboards in your unfinished attic by nailing shingles to the planks.
  • If you're a drummer, you know how important traction is for keeping your kit in place. Asphalt shingles are perfect for keeping your drums from sliding while playing.
  • Place old asphalt shingles around plants to keep weeds from cropping up.
  • Make a garden path out of asphalt shingles instead of buying gravel, cement stones, or bricks.
  • Instead of spreading sand or salt on your sidewalk in the winter, try placing a row of asphalt shingles over your icy walkway.
  • Donate gently-used asphalt shingles to your local branch of Habitat for Humanity.

If you are replacing your roof take a look at the roofing materials options you have available.

(shingle photo: Thousandshipz)


Dee on April 10, 2015 at 7:31 a.m.

We have a dirt driveway. I was wondering if I could grind up the old shingles somehow and spread them on the driveway. Has anyone tried this?

Marilyn Mayer on Feb. 22, 2016 at 7:37 a.m.

Is it OK for vegetable plants to have asphalt beside them? i.e. toxicity?

kimberly gray on April 20, 2016 at 7:28 a.m.

I was wondering the same thing. My shingles are very old, they have moss or mold growing on them now they just look like green pores. I was wondering if i could use them on my driveway. I have a well. so i dont want to hurt my water source.

sm on April 28, 2016 at 8:52 a.m.

Asphalt shingles and bituminous roll roofing may be used to smother and suppress unwanted invasive alien plants

Judi on May 22, 2016 at 1:52 p.m.

My husband used shingles to line a planter box that I want to put vegetables in. Should I be concerned about toxins in my veggies?

Atascosa Recycling on July 21, 2016 at 10:35 a.m.

We sell ground up shingles to people who use the material as a surface coat over a dirt or gravel driveway. The shingle material (known as RAS) bonds together over time and makes a hard, dustless surface.

jonie on Sept. 7, 2016 at 11:28 a.m.

I bought a roll of roofing asphalt 1/2 price a home depot,I am going to use it to cover the spots in the back yard under a tree,such as in front of my storage entrance and a path on the side of my house.have fun with it,it can last for years.

GMz on Sept. 3, 2017 at 6:14 p.m.

ALSO not listed ...if you are putting a new plywood floor down and the sub floor is out of level ...used asphalt shingles to make great shims. You can add as many layers as needed and taper them to higher or level areas. Then the new plywood floor goes down flat and level also they will serve as a vapor barrier no doubt.

Kenneth DEMENT on May 16, 2018 at 6:52 a.m.

I would be careful planting vegatables around asphalt anything as it is petroleum based and will leach oil into the soil around it.

Kristie on June 19, 2018 at 3:37 a.m.

When deconstructing an old house, we took the roof shingles and cut them into strips. We used a electric tile cutter with a concrete blade. These strips went in front of our barn where it was always muddy.

Dwight jamison on July 16, 2018 at 8:14 p.m.

Toxic metals in shingles can be picked up by edible plants. Dust from shingles is toxic to plants and animals. Leaching from ground shingle can contaminate water. See Washington State test results for details.

Matt on Nov. 9, 2018 at 5:52 a.m.

As far as shingles "leaching" into the soil, the shingles were on your roof and leaching away then as well if that is actually a problem. Whether the shingles are on your roof or on the ground they're going to have the same "toxicity", which is probably zero.

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