Is Trex decking environmentally friendly? Yes, and here’s why! Roger Wittenberg, the co-founder of the Winchester, Virginia Trex Company did not start out as an environmentalist but has come to be a big supporter. He is committed to reducing the plastic in landfills one Trex deck at a time.
Most of his career he has worked to find ways to recycle materials and re-purpose them. His first company was not Trex decking, but a scrap metal company. He recycled the metal into parts for knitting machinery. Before venturing into Trex decking he then created a company that recycled bakery goods into feed for companies like Purdue and Polly Farms. This business posed one problem. How to dispose of the millions upon millions of plastic bags that once held the bakery goods. Wittenberg’s solution was Trex decking!
This idea not only solved the problem but made Wittenberg a millionaire several times over. Using his experience in organic chemistry, Wittenberg developed a way to shred the plastic bags into a product that look like wood. This material would soon become the signature Trex decking. His research quickly showed that the shredded product looked like wood but lasted longer. Despite the durability and resistance of Trex Decking, it is not a sound structural material, but unbeatable for decks and walkways.
Homeowners quickly fell in love with Trex decking because it is low maintenance, rot resistant, split resistant, and does not attract insects.
The first Trex decking was more expensive than wood decking (often times double the cost). But…. since Trex lasts longer the overall cost for Trex decking ended up being less than traditional wood.
It was not long before some of the countries top tourist sites jumped on the bandwagon and replaced many of their wooden decks and walkways with Trex decking. These include Mount Rushmore, Disney World, and the boardwalks of the Florida Everglades.
This explains why the Virginia based Trex decking company has been traded on the New York Stock Exchange, has racked up over $200 million in sales, and has an estimated net worth of $16.8 million.
How Exactly Is Trex Decking Environmentally Friendly?
Step 1 – The Trex decking company collects approximately 1.3 billion plastic bags per year that would have eventually filled landfills across the country. This includes various types of packaging, wrapping, grocery and shopping bags, and other miscellaneous types of soft plastic containers. The entire process is quite quick from bad to Trex decking because the bags do not have to be cleaned or separated. Trex has found a way to control the final color of the Trex decking despite colored bags.
Step 2 – The next essential component of Trex decking is sawdust. Trex collects two to three million pounds of wood scraps per year from furniture and cabinet makers. This means that Trex decking is not made with any freshly harvested trees.
The sawdust and the shredded plastic bag material is then combined and heated to 300 degrees. This yields a sticky material that is pressed and formed into boards.
The future of Roger Wittenberg!
After the great success that the Trex decking company has experienced Roger is planning to move beyond composite decking, gazebos, and furniture. What that looks like, no one knows! But you can rest assured that just like his signature Trex decking, Wittenberg will continue to work with recycled products.
We here at RMFP proudly supply the Trex line of products. If you’re wanting to help take part in helping the environment through installing a Trex deck, let us know!