Vinyl fencing is an incredibly tough material. It is no wonder that more and more people are starting to use it. Of course, unless your measurements are incredibly accurate, you are bound to have some leftover vinyl fencing once everything has been installed.
Vinyl fencing can be recycled. Most recycling centers will be able to take care of old vinyl fencing, but a better option is to take it to a vinyl fence manufacturer as they will be able to put more of it to use. Do not throw vinyl fencing in the trash, it will not be accepted.
So, what can you do with it? Can it be recycled? Let’s take a look.
Can Vinyl Fencing Be Recycled?
It is a very, very easy product to recycle and it can be made into all sorts of useful products. In fact, in many cases, it will actually be turned into some more vinyl fencing!
Where Can You Recycle Vinyl Fencing?
Most recycling centers will accept vinyl fencing. However, you can always call ahead just to make sure.
In recent years, nearly every single manufacturer of vinyl fencing has some sort of scheme in place where you can hand your old fencing back to them. They will be able to recycle it. This is often a far, far better method than heading to a recycling center as the vinyl fencing manufacturers will be able to put all of the fencing to use, while recycling centers may only be able to put a fraction of it to use.
Can PVC Fencing Be Recycled?
We are going to quickly mention PVC fencing. This is because some vinyl fencing will have a small amount of PVC added to the mixture. Not all of it, but some.
If you have any sort of PVC fencing, then you will not be able to take it to the recycling center. They will not have the equipment that can separate the vinyl from the PVC.
It isn’t something that they are going to be dealing with all that often either, so it is unlikely that they will ever have the equipment. You should also remember that PVC itself is not actually recyclable.
In this case, the only real solution is to send the fencing off to the manufacturer. They will be able to use it to make new products. This means that at least some use will come out of it and, of course, it means that the fencing is not going to be ending up in a landfill.
How Do You Prepare Vinyl Fencing For Recycling?
If you are trying to recycle some old scraps of vinyl fencing that has never really been used outside of being cut up to size, then you don’t need to do anything to prepare it. Just take it to the recycling center or send it back to the manufacturer.
If the vinyl fencing is old and has been exposed to the elements for several years, then we suggest that you try and clean it up as best as you possibly can. This isn’t strictly necessary.
However, you may find that there are some recycling centers out there that may turn down the vinyl fencing if it is a little bit too dirty. This is because it is a lot harder to process like that.
What Happens When You Recycle Vinyl Fencing?
Whether you are sending the vinyl fencing back to the manufacturer or sending it to a recycling center, the process is pretty much the same. However, as we said before, recycling centers will not be able to deal with PVC in vinyl fencing as they would have to separate the materials, something which they are unable to do. This isn’t a problem for vinyl fencing companies as there would be no real need for them to separate the materials in order to make new products.
The process begins by sorting through the vinyl fencing and other plastics. The recycling team needs to make sure that everything going into their machine is recyclable.
This is why it is important to at least attempt to clean the vinyl fencing. If it has too many things on it, then the recycling center may decide it cannot be recycled as it would be difficult for them to separate the vinyl from the extra compounds.
Once the vinyl fencing that is going to be recycled has been selected, it will be thrown into a big grinder. This will grind the vinyl up into almost a powder. The idea is to ensure that everything is of an even size. This makes the next stage a bit easier to perform.
The next step involves that powder being melted. So, it will end up being liquid vinyl. Chemicals will then be added to this liquid to help separate anything that isn’t vinyl i.e. the recycling center will be purifying the material.
Finally, the molten plastic will be set into molds. If a recycling center does the recycling, then this vinyl will be shipped off to factories. If you have shipped the vinyl back to a manufacturer, then they will use it to make new fences.
Can You Put Vinyl Fencing in the Trash?
Most places prohibit you from putting industrial waste like this in the trash. You can’t even leave it by the side of the road. If you want to get rid of your vinyl fencing then you will have to either go to the recycling center or ship it off to the manufacturer.
We wouldn’t suggest that you put the vinyl fencing in a dumpster either. This will end up in a landfill where it will stay for centuries (vinyl is not biodegradable!). It makes absolutely no sense to pollute the environment like this when you have something that can easily be recycled, right?
Remember, shipping the vinyl fencing back to the manufacturer means that the manufacturer does not need to make new vinyl, which can cause a bit of pollution. So, by shipping it back, you are doing your part for the environment.
Vinyl fencing can be recycled, and it is incredibly easy to do. Most recycling centers will accept it, alternatively, you can ship it to the manufacturer. Whatever you do, make sure that you do not put vinyl fencing in the trash or in a dumpster.