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Can Plastic Patio Furniture be Recycled?

Don’t bother dumping your old plastic chairs in the recycling container. Instead, donate them or give them a do it yourself improvement. Plastic patio furniture is not recyclable in the kerbside recycler container because the shape and size is a likely culprit of jamming the traditional MRF machinery.

However, the local waste hauliers might accept it if they provide bulk-waste pickup and drop-off services – they handle the large items such as the removal of plastic patio furniture they collect on an individual basis. Before you call a haulier to check out on the offered bulk-waste options, you will have to find out the type of plastic patio furniture you have so that you can confirm with them whether they will accept it.

Remember that:

  • Virgin PP plastic furniture is recyclable. However, mostly, it is not recyclable kerbside.
  • Recycled HDPE plastic furniture is not recyclable because the recycled HDPE changes its structure after it is used to make furniture pieces. However, it is a great choice because the production uses fewer resources compared to HDPE plastics. The material is also a durable choice.
  • If you are unable to determine the type of material the manufacturer used to create your furniture piece, you should avoid recycling it. By trying to recycle the furniture piece, you will end up contaminating the other recyclable plastics.

Try to donate the plastic outdoor furniture

If your haulier does not accept the plastic furniture you are planning to get rid of, but the furniture is still in good condition, you have several options to keep it out of the landfill. Here are the available options:

Refinish it

Fast cleaning and coat of spray paint may give your plastic furniture pieces a better appearance. The appearance of the furniture might change completely such that you will want to keep it for yourself. The internet offers may systematically do-it-yourself guides to help you with that.

Donate it

Pack up the old plastic furniture and deliver it to one of the donation-based thrift stores. Someone will see it and like it. That way, it will not end up in one of the landfills and someone will have a new-like patio set.

Sell it

If you do not like any of the two options, you can sell it through one of the second-hand items store. First, start by asking the people close to you whether they would need. If they do not, try the local Facebook Sell/Buy/Swap groups and Gumtree. They allow quicker selling of old items if they are still in good condition.

Understanding plastic patio furniture pieces

Some types of plastic patio furniture, including the stackable patio chairs with wobbly legs, are made of polypropylene. If the chairs have a Resin Identification Code (RIC) number 5 situated in a triangle on the furniture piece’s underside, they might be acceptable for recycling. However, the shape and size of the chairs might prohibit their kerbside recycling. You will have to talk to your haulier about the possibility of recycling.

Most of the popular plastic patio furniture items are made of recycled high-density polythene (HDPE/RIC #2). Even though they are recyclable, the manufacturers might not represent the HDPE with any number. To tell whether a patio furniture piece is made of recycled HDPE, you will have to consider its appearance and feel. Such furniture will have a wood-grain texture but it will be shinier than the treated wood furniture pieces are.

Many day-to-day household items like milk jugs are made of HDPE. Each time you put the HDPE products in a recycling container, it will be recycled into a big household item such as a trashcan or an outdoor furniture piece. If the recycling involves HDPE, mostly known as downcycling some changes will happen to the material and the material will never be recycled again.

Recycled HDPE patio furniture pieces will not be recyclable. That is the main reason they are not a good option when shopping for furniture. They have saved resources unlike what you expect with the virgin HDPE. However, they are known for their longevity and durability. In other words, they require minimal maintenance.

Everyone knows how quality patio furniture looks like. One of the great things about plastic pieces is that they are recyclable. However, if you do not know how to do the recycling or the items you have are recyclable, you should contact us today. At Paul’s Rubbish Removal, we work to help clients differentiate between the pieces they can recycle and the others and help them do that.

Sarah Ann

Sarah Ann

Sarah Ann is a Digital Content Writer for Paul's Rubbish Removal. Sarah is a huge advocate for recycling, environmental sustainability, health and well-being and has a genuine love for all sea animals. Keep up with Sarah by following Paul's Rubbish Removal blog!

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