More and more people are turning to vinyl siding due to its durability and easy installation process. As climate change worsens and sustainability becomes more and more important, it’s only natural for people to then wonder about the eco-friendliness of vinyl siding and whether or not it can be recycled. Fortunately, vinyl siding can indeed be recycled.
Here is what you need to know about the factors involved with recycling vinyl siding and how the vinyl siding industry is taking strides to be more environmentally friendly. Let’s dive into it!
Factors Involved With Recycling Vinyl Siding
Many people associate vinyl siding with throwaway plastics, such as plastic straws. While it is true that vinyl siding is a non-biodegradable product, which means that it won’t break down by natural means, it can be recycled and reused. This is because vinyl siding is made out of polyvinyl chloride (PVC). It is a thermoplastic, which essentially means that it’s designed in order to be able to be recycled and reused. However, because it is a PVC, this also means that you can’t put vinyl siding with normal recycling.
Why Can’t You Put Vinyl Siding With Normal Recycling?
While vinyl siding can be recycled, you can’t use traditional recycling methods with it. Vinyl siding needs to be recycled with other PVC materials. Since it isn’t biodegradable, this means that you need to find recyclers that accept and process PVC materials. Otherwise, your siding will just sit in a landfill for years and years and years.
Due to how it’s made, PVC materials need to be treated with care, in order to avoid toxic gases. Vinyl siding is recycled by being re-ground and reused to make more PVC products. PVC materials can be recycled up to 8 times. Your own siding is likely made out of mostly recycled materials!
How Can You Recycle Vinyl Siding?
Since you can’t toss vinyl siding in with your normal recycling, you may wonder just how it can be recycled. The process of recycling PVC materials is fairly straightforward.
#1. Find A PVC Recycler
You will need to find a PVC recycler in your area to take care of your siding for you. You can do this by either contacting your local recycling centers and asking whether or not they can recycle PVC or by going to the Vinyl Institute website and searching for a certified PVC recycler near you. You can also use other resources to find recycling in your area.
Many different landfills and dump areas have options for having siding picked up to be transported to a recycling facility.
#2. Gather Your Siding
In some cases, if you’re having your siding replaced, the contractor can take your old siding away for you. You want to check with them to ensure that it gets recycled and doesn’t end up in a landfill, though.
Otherwise, you’ll want to separate your siding from other materials it’s attached to. The siding should be as clean as possible. There shouldn’t be any nails or silicone attached to it. You can have any color and size of siding recycled. If you need assistance with knowing what is acceptable, you can look up the guidelines in your area.
#3. Arrange For Transportation
Once you’ve gathered your siding and located a recycling facility, you can arrange to have it transported there. Some recycling facilities will pick it up for free if you’re donating it. You can also hire a local dump truck to transport it to be recycled.
Once your siding has made its way to the recycler, they’ll clean it off in order to reduce contamination and then grind it down to be made into new vinyl products.
How Vinyl Siding Is Becoming More Environmentally Friendly
As you can see, since this type of siding can be recycled, it’s more environmentally friendly than some of the other siding options which can’t be. The vinyl industry is forever striving to reduce its carbon footprint by decreasing carbon emissions and water usage per production. Because vinyl is lightweight and easy to install, it uses less energy and resources. Plus, since you don’t need to paint or stain vinyl in order to keep it in good condition, that is another way in which it uses less resources and generates less waste than other options.
Unlimited Siding provides high-quality vinyl siding in a variety of colors and sizes to help you transform your home and keep it protected. Contact us today to learn more about our services or to receive an estimate.