Vinyl recycling projects recognized with awards

Vinyl Institute honors building products maker Azek Co. and a project at Toronto’s Rogers Centre stadium.

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December 7, 2020

The Vinyl Sustainability Council (VSC), part of the Washington-based Vinyl Institute, has presented its 2020 Vinyl Recycling Award to two co-winners: Chicago-based building products maker Azek Co., and Canton, Massachusetts-based roofing manufacturer Sika Sarnafil, which spearheaded a recycling project the Rogers Centre stadium in Toronto.

“The need for more sustainable practices continues to grow, and vinyl value chain members are committing every day to increasing their use of recycled materials,” says Jay Thomas, VSC executive director. “This year, I was impressed with how many award entries demonstrated increased use of post-consumer recycled vinyl, including Azek and Sika. But what truly made these companies stand out in their nominations was how they demonstrated that using recycled materials is at the core of how they do business. I am extremely pleased to be able to recognize both of these companies with our 2020 Vinyl Recycling Award.”

The Azek Co. produces capped polyvinyl chloride (PVC) deck boards, known as the TimberTech. The VSC says AZEK has undertaken a challenge to use more recycled materials in manufacturing the product.

By working closely with its research and development (R&D) team and recycled PVC suppliers, and in partnership with subsidiary Return Polymers, Azek says it was able to increase the recycled material composition of total board weight from 30 percent to 63 percent recycled content, with 47 percent of the content sourced from external post-industrial and post-consumer materials.

In 2020, AZEK says it expects to divert more than 150,000 tons of discarded materials from landfill, exceeding its 2019 landfill diversion rate.

“We greatly appreciate this recognition from the VSC as we continue our mission to convert the building products industry [to] a dynamic and sustainable future,” says Bruce Stanhope, Azek’s vice president of R&D. “To accomplish this, it takes reimagining current products to find ways to make them better. As we all know, sustainability is a journey, and we will continue to push the boundaries of our recycling capabilities and innovations.”

Roofing manufacturer Sika Sarnafil offers Sarnafil and Sikaplan single-ply roofing products that contain UL-certified 10 percent recycled content.

Sika Sarnafil was called upon when the Rogers Centre, home to baseball’s Blue Jays, needed a roof repair. The stadium featured a 30-year old Sarnafil PVC roof that was still performing well, but the building suffered structural damage from massive chunks of ice falling from neighboring office towers.

“Our ability to recycle the existing PVC roof was one of the key drivers in the building owner’s decisions to replace it,” says Bill Bellico, Sika Sarnafil director of marketing and inside sales. “We were able to completely recycle the 460,000-square-foot roof membrane and put it back into new Sika roofing products. It is satisfying to see our 30-year-old Sarnafil roof come full circle and get a new life as a roof membrane that will protect another building. Thank you to the VSC for recognizing this project as an award winner.”

The new PVC roof installed contains 10 percent recycled content and should help protect the stadium for more than 30 years, according to the roofing products maker.

“Sika Sarnafil’s story speaks to the durability and resilience of PVC, which in itself epitomizes sustainability,” says Thomas of the VSC. “Having a roof that continues to perform over decades and in extreme temperatures is notable, and their submission highlights that recycled content is long-lasting and can be used in such applications.”