Believe it or not, nearly 11 million tons of roofing shingle waste is generated each year in the United States. Most of that waste -- 10 million tons -- comes from the shingles off of old homes [source: CA.gov]. Unlike many construction materials, roofing shingles are very durable. They can last nearly 20 or 30 years before they need to be replaced.
Most shingles are made from a felt mat infused with asphalt (which is made from crude oil) and tiny bits of rock. These shingles are hardy, and can withstand scorching heat and bone-chilling temperatures. But when they are removed from a roof, they can be ground down and actually used in pavement projects and as patches for potholes. Shingles can also be recycled into new shingles and sometimes processed into fuel [source: CA.gov].