A relaxing outdoor deck with recycled composite deck boards

Save the Planet – Recycling Composite Deck Boards (Trex)

In our throw out world today recycling composite deck boards may not be something you have heard of or even thought about. We believe and teach in our house, that we are given resources to “use” but not destroy. We should take care of things brought into our possession. Hence our philosophy in our house. We are here to maintain, restore and preserve (where it makes sense) for the next generation. That is what we do with out Mid-Century home, likewise a previous article I wrote on recycling my old wood deck boards to make a bridge for my ATV. Many things can serve a second life. We just need to take a moment to think about “How”?

Recently, when I saw a neighbor ripping up their perfectly fine decking (knowing it was Trex composite boards) I contacted them. The contractor was planning on chucking them into the landfill! I had no direct purpose, we just recognized they could be reused.

So I ran over to look at them and get an agreement that I would move them over to my driveway for the contractor – saving them time and money. As I inspected the boards they were in decent shape. Of course they had screws, nails and some material would have to be thrown away and removed. It looked like we could save them from the landfill after-all and find a 2nd life for us or someone that could use them.

Once I had the pile, I contemplated what to do with them. I had a couple of ideas, like outlining a walking path in the woods. However, I figured-out based on research it was not a good idea. You see Trex boards don’t do well connected to ground. They start breaking down quickly. My next thought, we have many staircases around our house. However, I took measurements of the staircase and came to realize we did not have enough material. I then researched the option to buy similar Trex boards to match. Yet another closed door. Trex had stopped making these boards several years ago.

About Trex

If you did not know, low-maintenance composite decking won’t splinter, rot, warp, or need sanding and staining like wood. Yet in the early days of composite, the boards would get stained, and if exposed to moisture it could start to break down. That however is not the story today. The new material appears to last forever.

The Trex Company created the composite decking category and revolutionized the industry. Trex decking is available in beautiful, natural colors. Trex is one of the leading brands of composite decking and trim products. Today there are many alternatives, however their quality could be in question. In the end, there is only one genuine Trex. All covered by Trex’s 25-Year Limited Residential Fade & Stain Warranty. You can find composite decking at your local hardware store or places like Lowes and HomeDepot.

Why Recycling Composite Deck Boards Matters?

I asked one of the chatAI tools (robot) why would we recycle composite decking… An interesting response.
Trex decking is a popular choice for homeowners who want a low-maintenance, durable, and attractive deck for their outdoor space. Trex decking is made from a composite material that combines wood fibers and plastic, which makes it resistant to rot, mold, and insects. However, when it’s time to replace your Trex decking, recycling it is an excellent way to reduce your environmental impact. Here are some reasons why you should recycle your Trex decking.

  1. Reduces Waste in Landfills Landfills are rapidly filling up with waste, and anything that can be recycled or repurposed should be. By recycling your Trex decking, you can prevent it from ending up in a landfill where it would take up valuable space and contribute to environmental pollution.
  2. Conserves Natural Resources Trex decking is made from recycled materials, but it still requires a significant amount of energy and resources to produce. By recycling your old Trex decking, you can help conserve natural resources like wood and plastic by reducing the need for new materials to be extracted and manufactured.
  3. Lowers Greenhouse Gas Emissions When organic materials like wood and plastic break down in a landfill, they release methane gas, which is a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. By recycling your Trex decking, you can prevent it from decomposing in a landfill and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  4. Supports the Circular Economy Recycling Trex decking supports the circular economy, which is an economic model that prioritizes resource conservation, reuse, and recycling. By participating in the circular economy, you can help create a more sustainable and resilient economy that is less reliant on finite resources.
  5. Saves Money Recycling your Trex decking can save you money in the long run. Trex decking is durable, but it will eventually need to be replaced. By recycling your old Trex decking, you can save money on disposal fees and potentially earn money by selling the recycled material.

In conclusion, recycling your Trex decking is an excellent way to reduce your environmental impact, conserve natural resources, and support the circular economy. It’s also a cost-effective way to dispose of your old decking material. So, if you’re considering replacing your Trex decking, make sure to recycle it instead of sending it to a landfill.

Recycling Composite Deck Boards Not Possible?

After a day or so, it looked like we could not do anything with this material. We were really close to having enough, but at the end of the day, we had to move on and do something else with it. I did not want to send it to the landfill as someone else could surely use it. As I have done in the past, I listed the materials on Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist in the “FREE” section. In this case, Craigslist was more fruitful in finding a new home for this material. I had several phone calls in the first couple of hours. Several people were just trying to make a buck on a free giveaway. We wanted to find someone who would use it for their home and use.

After a day, we had a new home for the decking boards. A father called and we had a good chat. I asked him “What will you do with this material?” he responded “We are planning an outdoor sitting area next to a greenhouse that was made of recycled material.”.

That was the perfect answer and we arranged a time for them to pick up the boards. They arrived in an SUV towing a large trailer. The family piled out of the SUV and started immediately chipping in to load the material to their trailer. They were a nice family who had moved into the area making their new house a home. In a matter of no time, they were loaded and ready to take off.

It was nice to see that other people have this mindset. The phrase I always keep in mind is (and I know you have heard this before) “One mans trash is another mans treasure.” There are so many things I buy used or get for free. It can be as simple as recycled decking to a used car. Be resourceful in what you have, as you never know what kind of dreams it could turn into tomorrow.

I asked them to send a picture or two once they were done with the project. Something we could share with our readers. My hope is to always inspire other people in being more aware of their foot print and to save money. It is expensive enough to live much less throwing things away all the time.

Recycling Composite Deck Boards Gallery

It really does not matter what material you recycle. It is important to see what you have and how can you use it best. Somehow, the majority of our our society has forgotten this lesson from years ago, like from the Great Depression.

I hope that this amazing example is something that can inspire you and your family. Pass this down to your kids, be resourceful, and keep moving. Keep trying, even if you think you could not do something as amazing as this. Keep trying and you will get there with practice. I don’t know if we will save the planet with this type of recycling, but we sure as heck will save your wallet and bank account!

Until next time!

1 year ago