Can Composite Decking be Recycled?

For years the decking industry has gone back and forth as to what is a “green” decking option and what isn’t. In an industry where everyone boasts their product is the best, how are we supposed to make an educated decision when buying a new deck?

Some composite decking does use recycled materials, but does that mean the boards themselves can be recycled? The majority of the time the answer will be no. Our findings suggest that the composite deck boards that can’t be recycled are made from wood and plastic fibers which are combined using bonding agents that deter any machine from separating them.


The composite decking that we’ve reviewed is not known for its lengthy lifespan and when it comes time to tear down your plastic deck, these composites end up in landfills. This translates to the end product not being recycled and being detrimental to the environment. Think about how many of these composite decks there are in your city or state or even the world. When it comes time for those decks to be replaced, they will all go to a landfill to never be reused.


When you purchase a wood deck, you’re doing the environment a favor. Wood is a completely renewable resource. It is completely natural, it can be reclaimed to be used again, and it can be recycled to produce new products.

Alternatively, you can opt for a completely plastic deck like PVC. Because PVC decking is 100% plastic, it can be recycled through man-made systems.

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