With the public more aware of how their lifestyles and decisions effect the environment than ever before, it is becoming more popular to choose products that have lower impacts than others. Some elements that affect a product’s environmental impact are the raw materials it’s made from, what it’s used for, and how it is disposed of when they’re no longer useful.
Products that can be recycled rather than thrown in the landfill after their life are significantly better for the environment than others. Siding insulation, made of expanded polystyrene (EPS), is one such product. Manufactured from 98% air and only 2% plastic, siding insulation reduces energy consumption, saving natural resources during its 40+ year life cycle. And when it’s time to remove the siding insulation, it can be recycled.
Reclaimed siding insulation foam can be ground up and re-used in other applications, making other efficient building materials due to the recycled content. This is called post-consumer recycling, or recycling after the product has reached the end user. The only limitation is that siding insulation is only recyclable in select communities that have appropriate recycling facilities established. Many siding and insulation manufacturers are currently working to establish systems that make it easier to reclaim their products after they have been used.
Siding insulation can also go through pre-consumer recycling before it ever makes it to the marketplace. For instance, when manufacturing siding insulation, there is scrap material generated during the process. Rather than dispose of this material, it can be reclaimed and used in other products as well. Progressive Foam recently made a $400,000 investment in new equipment that consume 100% of the scrap from our manufacturing operations for use in other products. We are now working towards becoming a local recycling center for post-industrial and post-consumer foam waste.