VINYL SIDING

A Truly Sustainable Choice

 

As extreme weather events increase, today's homeowners want to know their home exterior offers the best protection for their home with the least impact on the environment. Vinyl siding is hands down the most sustainable choice, dramatically outperforming other exterior cladding materials with less waste and less impact on climate change.

Less waste. Less impact on the environment.

Siding with vinyl means giving homeowners a sustainable choice that is also beautiful, durable and affordable.

Less Impact on Global Warming

Vinyl siding has a significantly lower impact on global warming than most other exterior cladding products. Plus, vinyl siding, vinyl insulated siding and polypropylene siding products are one of the only exterior cladding options to be UL Certified and have published Environmental Product Declarations providing builders with objective and transparent information.

Vinyl Siding vs. the Competition

Throughout its life cycle, vinyl siding has 79% less impact on global warming than fiber cement and 85% less impact than brick and mortar.


Recycling

Recycling is the process of making new products from waste material. The process helps to improve the environment by reducing waste disposal and potentially reducing landfill accumulation and incineration, which leads to greenhouse gas emissions.

Many think vinyl siding can’t be recycled; however, this is FALSE.

Vinyl siding (polypropylene siding and insulated vinyl siding too) lends itself to recycling because it is made from vinyl (also known as polyvinyl chloride or PVC.) It is a thermoplastic that can be ground up repeatedly, re-melted and formed into a variety of new products even after the useful life of the product.

 

So, how can vinyl siding be recycled?

 

Post-Consumer Recycling

Post-consumer refers to material that comes from end-users of a product and can no longer be used for its intended purpose. For example, vinyl siding scrap generated by contractors, builders and remodelers, and old vinyl siding torn off of homes or apartments (end-of-life scrap) in remodeling can be recycled.

Post-consumer material also applies to returns from the distribution chain, including returns of defective material and obsolete material that distributors cannot/will not sell. Vinyl siding and polypropylene siding can be post-consumer recycled.

 

Post-Industrial Recycling

Post-industrial recycling refers to material diverted from the waste stream during a manufacturing process that cannot be reclaimed within the same process that generated it. In terms of vinyl siding, this would consist of vinyl scrap from the manufacturing process that could not be reground in-house. (The industry refers to this material as "pre-consumer" because it has left the manufacturing facility but has not yet been used by the consumer.) Vinyl siding, polypropylene siding, and insulated vinyl siding can be post-industrial recycled.

 

Closed-Loop Recycling/Reused

The industry refers to this category as recycling in-house scrap or regrind because the material never leaves the production facility. The trimmings, shavings, color changes and rejected vinyl that results during the manufacturing process are simply ground up and used again to create new siding or other products. This is an excellent practice that makes vinyl siding manufacturing highly material-efficient. Vinyl siding, polypropylene siding, and insulated vinyl siding can be a part of a closed-looped recycling/reuse process.

 

Landfill Diversion

Recycling is a vital component of reducing landfills and other associated activities that are related to landfills like incineration. By implementing more recycling initiatives, landfill diversion can take place.

Vinyl Siding vs. Waste

99% of scrap can be either immediately returned to the manufacturing process or used in other products.

How much vinyl is recycled now?

More than 1 billion pounds of vinyl are recycled in the U.S. and Canada annually. Approximately 85% of recycled vinyl comes from industrial or pre-consumer recycling, although post-consumer recycling of vinyl products has increased significantly.

Since 2014, there has been a 40% increase in post-consumer recycling. In fact, more vinyl product producers are incorporating greater amounts of post-consumer reclaimed vinyl as technology has advanced to maintain product quality. An estimated 146 million pounds of consumer vinyl products were recycled in 2016.

 

The Long Life of Vinyl Siding 

Although recycling is an important component of sustainability, vinyl siding has a long life and is not necessarily a part of the waste stream for a long time. Many warranties are 40 years or more – or even the life of the structure – and according to the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s life cycle assessment tool, vinyl siding, polypropylene siding and insulated vinyl siding have a useful life of at least 50 years.

Less Waste for a Lifetime

Vinyl siding, insulated vinyl siding and polypropylene siding products require minimal raw material and produce virtually no waste. Vinyl siding requires less water and energy per square foot than fiber cement and less than half the energy and fuel of brick and mortar, plus less fossil fuel for transportation. And on the jobsite, VSI Certified Installers are trained to reduce waste during installation.