Category: asphalt shingles

The Road to Decarbonization: How Asphalt is Affecting the Planet



The following content is sponsored by Northstar Clean Technologies

The Road to Decarbonization: How Asphalt is Affecting the Planet

Asphalt, also known as bitumen, has various applications in the modern economy, with annual demand reaching 110 million tons globally.

Until the 20th century, natural asphalt made from decomposed plants accounted for the majority of asphalt production. Today, most asphalt is refined from crude oil.

This graphic, sponsored by Northstar Clean Technologies, shows how new technologies to reuse and recycle asphalt can help protect the environment.

The Impact of Climate Change

Pollution from vehicles is expected to decline as electric vehicles replace internal combustion engines.

But pollution from asphalt could actually increase in the next decades because of rising temperatures in some parts of the Earth. When subjected to extreme temperatures, asphalt releases harmful greenhouse gases (GHG) into the atmosphere.

Emissions from Road Construction (Source)CO2 equivalent (%)
Asphalt28%
Concrete18%
Excavators and Haulers16%
Trucks13%
Crushing Plant10%
Galvanized Steel6%
Reinforced Steel6%
Plastic Piping2%
Geotextile1%

Asphalt paved surfaces and roofs make up approximately 45% and 20% of surfaces in U.S. cities, respectively. Furthermore, 75% of single-family detached homes in Canada and the U.S. have asphalt shingles on their roofs.

Reducing the Environmental Impact of Asphalt

Similar to roads, asphalt shingles have oil as the primary component, which is especially harmful to the environment.

Shingles do not decompose or biodegrade. The U.S. alone generates ∼12 million tons of asphalt shingles tear-off waste and (Read more...)

Visualizing the Global Landfill Crisis



The following content is sponsored by Northstar Clean Technologies

Global Landfill Crisis

Visualizing the Global Landfill Crisis

In a world that generates 2 billion tonnes of waste every year, landfill management has become a global concern.

Reusing, remanufacturing, and recycling materials have become essential in minimizing pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

The above infographic from Northstar Clean Technologies highlights how waste management has become a multibillion-dollar industry opportunity.

The Largest Contributor to Global Waste

The world produces enough solid waste to fill over 800,000 Olympic sized swimming pools every year. Waste generated per person averages 0.74 kilograms per day.

Below, we show the regions that generate the most waste, measured in millions of tonnes. Asia, Europe, and North America are the top waste generators, respectively.

Region2016 Waste Generation (Millions of tonnes)2030 Waste Generation (P)2050 Waste Generation (P)
Middle East and North Africa129177255
Sub-Saharan Africa174269516
Latin American and Caribbean231290369
North America289342396
South Asia334466661
Europe and Central Asia392440490
East Asia and Pacific468602714

The U.S. ranks number one in per-capita waste by country, producing 12% of the world’s trash despite only accounting for 4% of its population.

On average, a U.S. resident produces over three times as much waste as a Chinese resident and seven times more than a person living in Ethiopia.

Approximately half of the 230 million tonnes of yearly waste in the U.S. will meet its final resting (Read more...)