Tip of the Day

May 11th, 2011

Plastic Gets Recycled Into Furniture and Decking

A few years ago I was helping my cousin build a deck in his backyard. Why I don't know. I've never done anything like that before, but I was actually quite surprised by how much I enjoyed the manual labor and using the power tools. One of the most interesting things about his deck is that he was building it from Trex. Trex is a plastic lumber that is almost 100% recycled plastic. I didn't know what it would be like to work with this kind of material. Whether we would need special tools, nails etc. From what I remember we used all the regular tools, and I became quite proficient at routing the plastic boards so they would fit together well.

I haven't had any experience with regular lumber, but my cousin has (he used to work at a lumber yard). The finished product was amazing, and the care is simple too. Sweep and spray it down with a hose. There's no treating the deck with toxic chemicals to make it waterproof. It's resilient to weather.

Advantages of Plastic Lumber over wood

  • Resistant to moisture
  • Insects won't attack it
  • More flexible than wood
  • Doesn't absorb bacteria
  • No need to use sealants
  • Doesn't splinter
  • Diverts plastic from landfills
  • Can be recycled

How is plastic lumber used?

  • Decking
  • Patio furniture
  • Fences
  • Compost bins
  • Pallets
  • Noise barriers
  • Playground equipment

There are many more ways recycled lumber is being used. And it's applications are growing every year. Have you used plastic lumber? Do you use furniture or have fences made from plastic lumber? What do you think of it?

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