Wood-alternative decking and railing manufacturer Trex Company is enlisting communities and organizations to partner in its recycling efforts through the NexTrex Grassroots Movement. The Movement provides a turnkey framework for municipalities, universities, nonprofits, and other qualifying businesses to serve as centralized drop-off locations for recycling polyethylene plastic film while earning funds for their organizations.
The Grassroots Movement is an expansion of the NexTrex recycling program, a nationwide sourcing initiative for Trex, which manufactures its composite decking from 95% reclaimed material. A large portion of the plastic film used by the manufacturer comes from a network of more than 32,000 grocery stores and retail partners who work with Trex to recycle commercial, industrial, and post-consumer plastic film. The new program extends the benefits of Trex recycling to organizations that may not meet the volume criteria for the company’s commercial recycling program.
“The goals of our grassroots program are to engage more partners, establish more recycling outlets for consumer collection, and to increase overall accessibility to recycling by removing hurdles that prevent the organic growth of local plastic film recycling initiatives,” Stephanie Hicks, materials sourcing manager for Trex Company, said in a news release. “The Grassroots Movement opens the program up to smaller but similarly eco-minded groups. It also expands the program beyond traditional grocery stores and retail drop-off locations, which can be limited in their collection abilities due to store hours or collection y constraints. By forming alternative partnerships, we hope to engage new and broader audiences in recycling.”
Trex said organizations approved for participation in the NexTrex program can earn funding by serving as drop-off locations where community members can recycle plastic film packaging. Each grassroots partner will be equipped with a baler, which is housed on site for use in bundling and weighing recycled plastic material. After 20-40 bales are compiled, Trex will pick up and transport the recycled material to its manufacturing facilities in Virginia and Nevada and provide the partner with a rebate.
“The NexTrex program is an ideal example of a scenario where everyone wins,” said Hicks. “Trex wins by sourcing valuable material for our manufacturing process. Our partners win by driving increased community awareness and earning funds for their organizations. And, the world wins when we are able to divert plastic waste from ending up in landfills and give it new life in something beautiful and sustainable like Trex decking.”
Partners in the program are supplied with instructional videos and promotional materials, free recycling bins, and access to professional marketing and PR support. Trex will also provide upfront financing, if needed, to help with the purchase and installation of industrial balers for partner locations.
Trex upcycles approximately 400 million pounds of plastic waste annually, nearly all of which comes from post-consumer sources such as shopping bags, newspaper sleeves, bubble wrap, and package liners.