The importance of recycling UPVC | Commercial Recycling News

Why is recycling UPVC windows important?
Our guide to disposing of windows

Whether you are working on a construction site and disposing of UPVC windows all day, every day, or you are undergoing your first home renovation and have a few windows that you need to remove and replace, you might not realise that UPVC windows are actually highly recyclable.

You heard us right, the popular plastic window frame we have all seen in our homes can be recycled! It is, in fact, very easily recycled and often put straight back into production.

In this article we want to explain just what UPVC is and how easy it is to recycle.

What is UPVC?

UPVC is an acronym for unplasticized polyvinyl chloride. This plastic is a man-made material from sodium chloride (salt) and petroleum or natural gas. PVC manufacturers realised that if they removed the plasticizers (substances used to make materials soft and flexible) they could create a much stronger product that is rigid, highly durable while also being lightweight and economical.

How is UPVC made?

The plastic starts off as UPVC powder, which stabilisers are added too. Once this has been done, it is melted down to form a liquid. The liquid is then cooled in moulds and cut into the shapes and sizes needed to create a final product. The pieces are welded together to create the final shape, and any further materials are added to form the final product, for example the glass panels and steel reinforcements to make a window.

What do we use UPVC for?

As mentioned above, UPVC is often used for window frames. Since the 1980s the construction industry started to use this material as window and door frames as well as for wider general construction applications such as pipework. The material became very popular for several reasons. These included:

  • It is cost effective
  • It is low maintenance
  • It is very versatile and can be moulded to be whatever shape needed
  • It has good insulating properties
  • It doesn’t rot
  • It isn’t affected by weather, and doesn’t warp

How to dispose of UPVC

UPVC can actually be recycled many times without significantly losing its quality. This makes it very easy to create a new product. However, this seems to be a little unknown fact because there are still large volumes of the material going to landfill. The WWF reported that around 83% of UPVC waste goes to landfill*.

As soon as the UPVC part has been processed, it can go straight back into the manufacturing line to be used to make a brand new window or other products, ideally going from being one window to a new window pretty quickly. The only thing that might slow this process down is the presence of other materials such as glass.

The correct disposal of UPVC will mean that solely the plastic is recycled, and any other materials are separated from the plastic and disposed of separately.

Commercial Recycling can make the disposal of UPVC windows and other items quick and simple as we have waste bays for both your UPVC parts and any glass you might have from windows, doors or conservatories. All we ask is that you separate out these parts before you arrive at our sites.

Why is recycling UPVC important?

The statistic above is a staggering amount of UPVC plastic going to landfill, especially when you consider that UPVC can be recycled and reused up to 15 times without losing its structural integrity.

And it isn’t just the landfill consequences and decomposing rate that should be considered. The production of the material uses oil, a non-renewable resource. If we run out of oil, we will no longer be able to make these materials, which is why we should be maximising the use of each piece of plastic.

How is UPVC recycled?

No matter what the material was used for, the recycling process is pretty straightforward as long as there is no extra material with the UPVC.

Step 1: Collection or drop off

You can bring your UPVC waste to either our Bournemouth disposal site or Somerset tip. Our sites are open Monday to Friday 7.30am to 5pm, and our Bournemouth site is also open on Saturday mornings.

Alternatively, our Man & Van service can come and collect it from your site at a time that is convenient for you.

Step 2: Purification

At this point, any non UPVC materials are removed, this will include any rubber, glass, steel, and general debris that might have been missed when being taken apart, or might have collected while waiting to be recycled.

Step 3: Pelletisation

The pure UPVC is shredded and turned into tiny granules or pellets.

Step 4: Ready for use…again

These pellets are re-entered into the manufacturing process where they will be moulded into new UPVC products.

Why tip with us?

Both our Bournemouth disposal site and Somerset tip accept UPVC window waste for free. That’s right, you won’t pay a penny to tip UPVC with us**.

We have separate bays for you to dispose of your UPVC waste and glass, meaning that you can tip all window or door parts in one trip. And our separate bays also allow you a quick turn around, no hanging around waiting for someone in front of you to dump their waste.

We are also offering free plate glass disposal when you dispose of your UPVC with us. To find out more about this give Shaun a call on 07826 905384.

Our sites have smooth surfaces and plenty of space making your experience on site comfortable and stress-free.

Additionally, there is no need to book an appointment to tip your UPVC waste with us. Simply turn up within our opening hours, and leave your waste with us.

Finally, we have waste bays for pretty much any other waste stream you might need to dispose of. From general waste, to wood and green waste. Our Bournemouth disposal site is able to accept most hazardous waste streams and our Somerset tip can accept certain types of hazardous waste. We would recommend giving us a call before you visit us to find out if we can accept the waste you have and to book a tipping slot.

Find out more about tipping with us by calling 01202 579579 or emailing us at

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