We’ve been looking for fencing options lately and wanted to know if vinyl is the way to go. It seems low maintenance, but we wanted to know if vinyl fencing can be recycled when its day comes. Going the sustainable route is vital to us.
We want to make an eco-friendly choice. Doing our homework first should help guide us. Is vinyl fencing recyclable? We did some digging to find out.
Can You Recycle Vinyl Fencing?
Vinyl fencing has become an increasingly popular choice for homeowners in recent years. Not only is vinyl fencing durable and low-maintenance, but many people are curious whether vinyl fencing is recyclable. As eco-friendly homeowners ourselves, we had the same question.
After researching, we have good news—vinyl fencing is recyclable. The materials used to make vinyl fencing, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic, is one of the most recycled plastics. According to industry experts, over 80% of vinyl fencing gets recycled into new products at the end of its usable life.
How Vinyl Fencing Recycling Works
When vinyl fencing has reached the end of its lifespan or is replaced, it enters the recycling stream. Recyclers collect used vinyl fencing and transport it to a recycling facility. The vinyl fencing is sorted, cleaned, and ground into small chips. These chips are melted and remolded into new vinyl products like fencing, decking, siding, etc.
How We Can Help
There are a few things we can do to aid in the recycling of vinyl fencing:
Choose a vinyl fencing company like Fairfax Fence that uses recycled materials in their products and has a take-back program to recycle old fencing. Some offer incentives like discounts on new fencing when you return your used fencing for recycling.
When it’s time to replace your vinyl fencing, ask the installation company to recycle your used fencing for you. Some offer this as a free service, especially if you’re buying new fencing from them.
If replacing the fencing yourself, check with your area’s local recycling and waste management departments about vinyl fencing recycling programs. Many offer vinyl fencing pickup or drop-off for recycling.
Dispose of vinyl fencing properly according to the guidelines. Remove any non-vinyl parts like metal posts before recycling. Keep the fencing as intact as possible instead of cutting it up.
By choosing recyclable vinyl fencing and properly recycling it at the end of its life, we can all do our part to make vinyl fencing a sustainable choice. Together, we’re helping to reduce waste in landfills and complete the recycling loop.
Is Vinyl Fencing Bad For the Environment?
We’ve wondered about the environmental impact of vinyl fencing. Vinyl, or PVC, is a plastic polymer that requires petroleum and chlorine to produce. So, it’s understandable why some consider vinyl fencing bad for the environment.
However, vinyl fencing does have some eco-friendly benefits. Unlike wood fencing, vinyl requires no chemical treatment or paint for protection and longevity. Vinyl fencing is also very durable and low-maintenance, typically lasting 20-30 years without needing replacement.
Recycling vinyl fencing at the end of its lifespan presents challenges, but options exist. Many vinyl fence manufacturers and local waste and recycling centers accept used vinyl fencing for recycling. The vinyl can be ground up, melted, and remodeled into new fencing products. Some are also recycled into park benches, playground equipment, and patio furniture.
While vinyl fencing isn’t biodegradable, wood fencing treated with chemical preservatives isn’t much better and takes up landfill space. No fencing is 100% eco-friendly, so the best approach is choosing a durable, low-maintenance option and properly recycling or reusing it responsibly at the end of its useful life.
What Can Homeowners Do?
Choose a vinyl fence with a high percentage of recycled content. Many brands now use 50% or more recycled vinyl.
Properly maintain your vinyl fence to maximize its lifespan. With care, a vinyl fence can last 2-3 decades.
Ask about recycling programs when purchasing a vinyl fence. See if the company or local waste department offers vinyl fence recycling or pickup services.
Recycle or repurpose your vinyl fence at the end of its life. Don’t send it to the landfill – reuse or recycle it into new products.
Offset the environmental impact by making eco-friendly choices in other areas of your home and yard. Every little bit helps!
Can I Paint My Vinyl Fencing?
We know the desire to change the look or color of things around our house. If you have vinyl fencing, you may wonder if you can paint it for a fresher appearance. The short answer is yes, vinyl fencing can be painted. However, remember a few things before you break out the paintbrush.
Vinyl fencing is made of PVC plastic, so you’ll need to use a paint specifically designed for plastics. Regular exterior paint won’t properly adhere to the vinyl. Look for a paint labeled for vinyl, PVC, or plastics. An acrylic latex paint is a good option. You’ll also want to thoroughly clean and lightly sand the fencing first to provide a “tooth” for the new paint to grip onto.
Once you have the right paint, the key is using light, even coats and allowing plenty of time for each coat to dry. Take your time with the job; you may have drips, sags, or an uneven finish. We recommend two coats of paint for the best results. More than that, it risks the chance of the paint not bonding correctly and may end up peeling or chipping prematurely.
There are a couple of downsides to painting vinyl fencing to be aware of. First, the paint must be reapplied periodically, typically every 3-5 years, to maintain coverage and an attractive appearance. The paint will fade and chip over time due to weather exposure. Also, painting vinyl fencing may void the manufacturer’s warranty, so check with the company that made your fencing before proceeding.
However, when done correctly with the right paint and technique, painting vinyl fencing can give it a refreshed new look and add extra years of service. In northern Virginia, many homeowners find it a cost-effective alternative to replacing old or dingy-looking vinyl fencing. If you decide to paint, take your time and patience. With some light sanding and 2-3 coats of quality acrylic paint, you’ll enjoy your newly colorful vinyl fencing in no time!
Is Vinyl Fencing Cheaper Than Wood?
When we started looking at fencing options for our yard, cost was a factor in our decision-making. Vinyl and wood were at the top of our list, but which would be more budget-friendly?
As it turns out, vinyl fencing is less expensive than wood fencing. Vinyl fencing panels and posts are made from PVC plastic, so they don’t require the same level of maintenance and weather protection as wood. For most wood fences, vinyl lasts up to 50 years, compared to 15-30 years.
Initially, vinyl fencing costs slightly more per linear foot. However, unlike wood, vinyl requires no staining, painting, or sealing – ever. The color is molded through the material. When you factor in the ongoing costs of maintaining a wood fence, vinyl is the cheaper option long-term.
Vinyl fences are highly durable and resistant to weather damage, rot, insects, and mold. They stand up well to wind, rain, and snow without warping, cracking, or splintering like wood. Vinyl sections snap together and to posts for easy DIY installation or removal.
Variety of styles
Vinyl fencing comes in a variety of styles to suit any home. Options include privacy, semi-privacy, picket, and post & rail. The styles often closely resemble classic wood fence designs. No one will know it’s vinyl unless you tell them!
While wood fencing does have a certain rustic charm, vinyl fencing deserves a second look as an affordable, low-maintenance alternative. For budget-conscious homeowners like us, vinyl fencing can be an ideal solution that provides style and substance without breaking the bank. Overall, we found vinyl fencing cheaper and more cost-effective than wood.
What Can I Do With My Old Vinyl Fence?
Have you recently torn down your old vinyl fence and wondered what to do with the leftover materials? Don’t worry; vinyl fences can be creatively repurposed into new creations that nobody would think were made from old vinyl fencing. We’ve found clever ways to give your vinyl fence scraps a second life.
Old vinyl fence post scraps can be used as storage containers for spray paint, automotive wax, cleaning solutions, etc. Just cut the posts to your desired height, seal the bottom with waterproof wood glue or silicone caulk, and have handy storage for your garage or shed.
Decorative Mirrors and Clocks
There are many remarkable ways to repurpose old vinyl fences, such as creating wooden clocks, sunburst mirrors, and colorful birdhouses. Glue or nail vinyl fence boards onto a round wooden board to make a rustic sunburst mirror or clock. You can paint the vinyl boards before attaching them for extra flair. These make great decorative accents for a patio, porch, or garden.
Planters and Birdhouses
Short vinyl fence posts also work well as planters – just cut them to size, seal the bottom, and fill them with potting soil and your favorite plants or flowers. You can also fashion the posts into simple birdhouses by cutting an entrance hole and capping the bottom. The vinyl material is weather-resistant and durable, so your planters and birdhouses will last years.
If your old vinyl fencing is still in good, sturdy condition, you can reuse the material to fence in a smaller area like a garden, storage area, or compost bin. Reusing is even better than repurposing because you get a second product use without modifying it. Install your old fencing around the area you want to enclose.
With creativity, your old vinyl fence scraps can gain a new lease on life and provide decorative or practical value for years. Why send them to the landfill when you can repurpose them into unique creations?
Choose sustainability with Fairfax Fence! Our vinyl fencing not only offers durability and low maintenance but is also recyclable. Join us in making eco-friendly choices for a greener future.