Composites Are Recyclable

Greg Burnet’s well-written article, “What Makes a Deck Board Green” (Deck Ledger, January/February 2009), points out that until we develop a “USDA Organic” equivalent for sustainability, green is subjective. However, as a manufacturer of wood-composite decking and railing, I feel obligated to address a couple of points that Mr. Burnet makes.

Burnet argues that PVC can be recycled, while wood composites cannot. This just isn’t true. Both wood composites and PVC can be and are recycled. I believe the perception that wood composites aren’t recyclable may be based on confusion with fiberglass composites (such as are used for boat hulls). Or, said perception could be based on a 2005 report from the Healthy Building Network that asserted that the blend of ingredients in a wood-composite deck board, since they can’t be unmixed, can’t be recycled. We and others have recycled millions and millions of pounds of wood-composite articles into tool trays, shutters, lobster-trap runners, rot-resistant shims, and many other everyday items.

Wood composites can be and are recycled. They represent an excellent environmental choice. More so, coextruded products such as CorrectDeck CX especially encourage the use of recycled feedstock because color risk is eliminated. In 2008, our factory used more than 2 million pounds of recycled #5 polypropylene and many more millions of pounds of recycled hardwood fiber from the manufacture of golf tees and ice cream sticks. In order to facilitate reuse and recycling, we mark all of our products with their resource content, and we have pioneered a collection program for composite-decking job-site scraps.

Wood composites, especially those in the ultra-low maintenance category, can compete against the best wood and plastic products in performance, aesthetics, and sustainability.

Martin Grohman


Correct Building Products

Taking the Magazine to Task Over Code Violations

Every time PDB hits my mailbox I know it is going to be a good day. I look forward to the news, products, and articles to see what other people in my shoes are doing. I even bring them along to my sales meetings to show people ideas and prove that I know decks. I had a good chuckle, as I am sure my local building official would have, when I turned to the last page of your January/February issue.

“Lakeside Levels” is an impressive deck. Take a closer look and you will see that the baluster spacing does not meet code, there is no graspable handrail, and the stairs do not have an adequate landing area. Furthermore, the bench seating is dangerous and also not up to code. It is a lawsuit waiting to happen from any customer with a little one that thinks it would be fun to crawl under a bench. Please give me some insight on how I am supposed to tell my customer that I cannot build them the deck they are looking at in Professional Deck Builder magazine.

Keep up the good work, but take a closer look at the pictures!

Pat NoonanRichfield, Minn.