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Recovinyl – PVC Double Glazing Frame Recycling Initiative

Recovinyl, is a scheme funded by the PVC industry to promote sustainable development and recycling of PVC. PVC double glazing companies can slash the costs of disposing of old PVC window and door frames with help from the scheme.
The UK is one of 4 counties participating in a European initiative whose aim is to recycle 40,000 tonnes of post-consumer PVC by 2010.

Recovinyl helps PVC window and door installers to dismantle and recycle old PVC frames as opposed to disposing of them by landfill – an expensive and unsustainable process. Open to all PVC window and door installers, the recycling scheme subsidises installers for the costs of dismantling, sorting and transporting PVC waste and points them to registered recyclers.

The costs of dismantling PVC window and door frames then segregating and transporting the waste has been a major obstacle and land filling PVC window and door frame waste has been the standard choice.

Dismantled and processed PVC window and door frames take up much less space in a skip and so fewer skips are used, which saves cost as well as landfill space.


PVC Double Glazing Waste Recycling Trial

In conjunction with the Building Research Establishment (BRE), a trial project has been undertaken to assess the viability of recycling PVC window and door double glazing waste The trial involved Staybright Windows, a PVC window & door fabricator and installer, PVC window & door waste specialist EB Enterprise Ltd and Viridor Glass Recycling.

Fitters from Staybrite Windows deliver their waste window frames and glass to a central collection point. The windows are manually deconstructed by EB Enterprise who segregate as many materials as possible.

  • Glass window waste is taken away by Viridor Glass Recycling and reprocessed for use in fibreglass insulation manufacture.
  • Metals are collected and reprocessed by Sims Recycling.
  • Timber is also collected and reprocessed by a local wood reprocessor.


Viable PVC Double Glazing Frame Recycling – Practical Issues

On-site deconstruction of PVC door and window frames is another recycling option being considered. PVC window and door frames are robust and difficult to dismantle, with the metal reinforcement bars inside the PVC window and door profile presenting specific challenges.
Spectus Windows have helped to develop a prototype machine. The ‘corner cracker’ breaks the corner welds on PVC window frames by exerting pressure (via a foot pump) onto the weld - the weakest point of the profile. The frame is then broken into bar lengths to maximise skip space utilisation and permit easy access for the removal of the metal reinforcements located inside the hollow profiles. These reinforcements are then sent for metal recycling.

Government Initiative – PVC Double Glazing Recycling Essential

The Government’s Decent Homes initiative is intended to bring all housing in England up to a ‘decent standard’ by 2010. Window replacement to improve thermal efficiency is a key component of the process. Large volumes of PVC window and door profile and associated glass, timber, metal and rubber gaskets are involved.
Local authorities are taking steps to encourage the reprocessing of all double glazing materials. This involves using appropriate equipment to dismantle PVC widow and door frames and segregate the different materials – PVC, glass, metal and rubber. Steps must also be taken to keep the waste glass clean to maximise its recycling value.



Recovinly – PVC Double Glazing Frame Recycling Initiative

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