Monday, December 1, 2014

What is the difference between pre-consumer and post-consumer recycled content?


What is the difference between pre- and post-consumer recycled content?


An increasing number of building materials, such as flooring, contain some amount of recycled (instead of "virgin") content. Pre-consumer content is material that is recovered from a manufacturing process, such as sawdust from a lumber mill; post-consumer content is material that has been collected and recycled into another consumer product, such as plastic water bottles used to make composite wood deck planks or old denim jeans used for wall insulation.

Some construction materials are made out of repossessed post-industrial materials i.e.: polymers, elastomers and fibers. This means that these products are using waste products from industries, products that would usually shipped to the landfill are ending up on people’s homes. One of the most successful products at this is called Enviroshake, Enviroshake is a composite alternative to cedar shake roofing. The product looks almost identical to cedar but has a longer warranty and stands up to freezing/thawing and high winds.

Not all pre/post consumer recycled products are completely made from recycled materials. A lot of products have a minimum amount of recycled content in them so that they can claim that it is a green or recycled product. There are other products that most of the product is recycled, they should tell you in the literature what percent of the product is recycled.

Rob Abbott
Village Builders Inc.

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