Environmental Considerations

Vinyl Recycling Databases

The Vinyl Institute website offers two comprehensive databases about vinyl and recycling.

Click here for the database of vinyl recycling companies.

Click here for the database of manufacturers of recycled vinyl products.

Environmental Considerations

Section Contents:

Recyclability and disposal issues
Energy efficiency
Indoor/outdoor air quality
Resource conservation

Recyclability and disposal issues. Like all vinyl products, vinyl siding and accessories are recyclable, both pre-use (e.g., manufacturing off-cuttings and construction site waste) and post-use (e.g., removal at end of useful life). Pre-use vinyl siding scrap is often in prime condition for recycling, provided collection facilities are available that will minimize contamination from other materials.

Once siding scrap has been collected and transported to a recycling facility, it is typically ground into a flake form and put through a metal removal system. The flake material may also need to be washed before being sold to a scrap user. As is the case with off-cuttings or off-spec material from the manufacturing process, pre- or post-use vinyl siding can be reprocessed into new vinyl products with little or no loss of properties. Recycling facilities that accept rigid vinyl scrap such as siding exist across North America. For more information, contact the Vinyl Environmental Resource Center at (800) 969-VINYL (8469).

If recycling is not an option, and vinyl siding scrap must be landfilled, it can be trusted to remain safely inert under normal landfill conditions

Energy efficiency. Vinyl siding is significantly lighter in weight than some alternative materials, such as brick or fiber cement, which saves energy and fuel in transportation.

Indoor/outdoor air quality. Vinyl's ease of maintenance means no paints, stains or harsh chemical cleaners need to be used on vinyl siding.

Resource conservation. Vinyl siding can directly replace wood-based products such as cedar siding. Vinyl siding and accessories are also durable products, which is increasingly being recognized as an advantage not only from an economic perspective, but also from an environmental one. The longer a product lasts, the less energy or other resources that must be used to maintain the product or manufacture replacement products and the less scrap that must be disposed of, not to mention the time and money saved by not having to maintain and replace building products.