Recycled upvc double glazing – are your old windows being recycled?

We Can Recycle It. We Have the Technology.

Recycling used uPVC windows, doors and other glazing products is not the stuff of science fiction – the technology is there and commercially available, so you should make sure you ask your supplier what they will do with the old units they’re replacing.

Most homes in Britain now have recycling bins alongside their normal waste collection, and most people have become used to the idea of recycling their household waste wherever possible.

So it makes sense that many of us worry about what happens to our used window units when we have them replaced. The units are not small, large amounts of uPVC from window frames, sadly, still ends up going in to landfill, where it can pollute and damage the environment.

This is all the more galling when you realise that there’s no longer a serious technological barrier to recycling the PVC used in windows – technology has progressed to the point where PVC can be recycled not just once, but many times over before it becomes unusable. The process itself is also remarkably efficient and the chemicals used in recycling can be used many times over without losing their effectiveness.

In 2008 over 50,000 tonnes of recovered PVC was recycled in 2008, up from around 42,000 tonnes in 2007. Whilst this is great progress, and indeed puts Britain ahead of the rest of Europe in terms of the amount of PVC we recycle, it is still estimated to represent less than 10% of the PVC wastage we create in Britain.

This is why it’s important to ask your window supplier, indeed all of the three window suppliers >Window Quoter can help you get in touch with, what they will be doing with the windows they remove from your house; whether they are part of a PVC recycling scheme; and – even more importantly – whether the new frames they are install will be at least partially constructed from recycled PVC.

When you buy recycled products, you’re helping to reduce the amount of landfill sites we need, reduce the amount of pollution we cause, and lessen the impact of our species on the planet. Don’t forget to check.

5 thoughts on “Recycled upvc double glazing – are your old windows being recycled?”

  1. A very valid point. Although the enviromental impact of UPVC is clear from an energy saving perspective, any initiative to encourage the recycling of old PVC windows and doors has to be applauded. Our composite door is made from 100% PVC (no GRP – we are unable to ascertain whether GPR can be recycled) but clearly we have little control over what will happen to our product at the end of it'

  2. This is an interesting debate. The technology to recycle old units should already be in place. Recycling is widely available across the nation these days and stricter guidlines should be put in place to ensure existing materials should be made into new products.

  3. Hi Four Ed.

    Thanks for stopping by. I was really inspired by the recycling upvc story. In these 'modern times' when customers and users of our online double glazing quote website – WindowQuoter – may have questions about what is going to happen to their old windows – particularly now that 1st generation upvc double glazing is being replaced, hopefully this story gave them some

  4. Hi Jonathon,

    Thanks for replying. With the global climate being such a hot topic in recent years, recycling is certainly one of the issues that needs to be addressed.


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