Do Siding Companies Tear Off and Recycle Old Siding?

Outdoor home inspection

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If you have vinyl siding on your house and plan to update with new siding—vinyl or not—you may wonder what happens to that siding. Does it stay in place and get covered over? Stripped and thrown away? Or how about recycled?

Bottom Line

Siding companies nearly always provide the service of tearing off and disposing of your existing siding. This service may be included in your installation price, or it may not. Knowing the terms of your contract is key.

A Fee May Be Involved

Vinyl siding will not get covered up. Some types of primary siding can get covered over, but vinyl does not provide a solid enough surface for the second layer of siding.

While it's difficult to give an answer that applies to all vinyl siding installers, we can say this: in general, yes, you can expect the installation company to dispose of the current siding.

Will there be a fee? Perhaps.

Keep in mind that the installers have to do something about it once it's in their trucks. Whether they landfill it or stick it in their dumpster, it will cost them something. Either the fee will be invisible in the cost of your project or the installer will come out and say, "It will cost 'X' amount to get rid of your old siding."

In short, the siding will not be laying around in your yard after the project is done.

But Will They Recycle It?

That said, is there any better way of disposing vinyl siding than landfilling it?

Way back in the dark ages of recycling, Principia Partners issued a prescient report with the exciting title of, "Post Industrial and Post Consumer Vinyl Reclaim." Don't let the name fool you. It's quite riveting if you have any kind of interest in home renovations and the environment. Another group, the Vinyl Institute, maintains an extensive directory of vinyl siding recycling companies.

But don't expect your vinyl siding installer to take the siding to a recycling company. They're thinking about cost-efficiency, and trucking waste siding to a collection facility 40 miles away doesn't return a single dime to them. Sorry, that's the reality.

Even begging the installer probably won't do much good. At this point, the only way to get your waste vinyl siding to a recycler is to either go with an installer who advertises recycling as a part of the normal process...or to haul the stuff to the recycler yourself.