Volume 10, Issue 2 - February 2009

Energy and Environmental News

AAMA Creates Vinyl Recycling Document

The American Architectural Manufacturers Association’s (AAMA) Vinyl Material Council (VMC) has released a new white paper called “Avoiding the Landfill: The Recycling of Vinyl Windows and Doors.”

The VMC originally had initiated a feasibility study to evaluate strategies for making post-consumer vinyl recycling activities viable on a broad scale. It established a task group to outline the challenges of creating an industry-wide vinyl door and window recycling program. The group determined that, for an industry-wide door and window program to be successful, it would have to include doors and windows of all varying materials, not just vinyl doors and windows.“

The number of vinyl window and door units being replaced has been very low historically, thanks to their durability and ease of maintenance. But this figure is expected to increase significantly over time, due primarily to the volume of vinyl windows and doors installed since the early 1980s,” says Kim Litz of Arkema Inc., chairperson of the VMC’s Green and Sustainability Committee, which developed the white paper. 

“Avoiding the Landfill” notes that vinyl is an attractive recycling target because it can be melted and reformed repeatedly, enabling nearly 100 percent of all industrial waste generated in the production of vinyl to be recycled via closed-loop recycling. 

AAMA’s VMC reports that for a recycling program in North America to be both sustainable and economically feasible, there would have to be a sufficient number of collection centers spread across the continent, along with a logistics network to support the transportation of materials to recyclers. North America’s significant vinyl recycling infrastructure has more than 70 vinyl recycling operations and 80 manufacturers, whose products include recycled vinyl. The paper contends that the continent is well-positioned for a post-consumer vinyl recycling program that would include door and window units. 

To stimulate collection and delivery of vinyl doors and windows to certified recyclers, the paper suggests the possibility of funding support from door and window manufacturers. Visit www.aamanet.org to download “Avoiding the Landfill: The Recycling of Vinyl Windows and Doors.” It is free to download. 


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