1992 - Volume #16, Issue #4, Page #17[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Plastic lumber made from recycled trash"It's great for making anything that would otherwise require treated lumber such as feedbunks, mineral feeders, landscaping timbers, decks, picnic tables, fence posts, boat docks, and so on," says Robert J. Hill, product manager for Bedford Industries, Inc., Worthington, Minn., about the company's new plastic "wood" made out of recycled milk jugs and other discarded plastic.
Bedford Industries is the world's largest manufacturer of wire twist ties used to seal plastic bags. The company decided to get into plastic recycling in order to save the more than $35,000 a year they were spending to dispose of waste from their factory operations. The result of a couple years of development work is a profitable new business for the company that not only gets rid of all their waste, but a large amount of recycled plastic from surrounding communities. Bedford's plastic wood is black or brown and can be sawed or nailed just like regular wood. So far it's available in 2 by 6's, 4 by 4's, and 6 by 6's (nonnal dimension lumber sizes). By next fall the company plans to have 1 by 4, 1 by 6 and 1 by 8-in. planking available, with or without tongue and groove interlocking edges.
"The plastic never splits or cracks and animals won't chew on it," says Hill, noting that there's a glut of recyclable plastic on the market right now so the product can be made and sold "quite reasonably". Al-though plastic wood still can not be used for large structural support - to build a hog barn, for example - because it flexes slightly more than wood, Bedford is working on incorporating fiberglass fibers into the plastic lumber so that it can be used anywhere you would normally use wood. It can be painted with latex paint.
An 8-ft. 6 by 6 sells for $21.95, 4 by 4 for $15.95, and 2 by 6 for $9.95.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Robert J. Hill, Bedford Industries, Inc., 1659 Rowe Ave., P.O. Box 39, Worthington, Minn. 56187 (ph 507 376-4136).
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