How to Dispose of, Recycle, or Reuse Plastic Pipes

Rows of large used PVC pipes

The versatility and many uses of PVC pipes make them the go-to fixtures for various industries and applications.

PVC pipes suppliers in the UAE share that the material can be used for water systems, plumbing, drainage, cable protection, fittings, industrial piping, and others.

Good-quality PVC pipes are also highly durable and can last for 50 to 100 years. They won’t break down easily and can remain functional for ages.

However, PVC pipes still have to be replaced when they get damaged or reach the end of their life span. Because of this, disposing of, recycling, and reusing them can pose a problem, particularly if there are numerous ones to deal with.

What to Do With Used PVC Pipes

If you are wondering what you can do with old, used PVC pipes, here are your options:

Disposal

When disposing of old PVC pipes and fittings, throwing them in a landfill or burning them might be your first option.

Although these are the easiest solutions, they are not the safest for the environment. PVC products have a long biodegradation time, meaning they’ll sit for a long period in the landfill before they degrade.

Burning PVC is also unsafe since it will release harmful toxins into the atmosphere that add to air pollution and expose people to airborne hazards.

One safe and smart option for disposing of old PVC is to bring them to a controlled plastic facility or recycling plant with the proper equipment and procedures to destroy or incinerate them mechanically.

The machines and practices of these facilities allow them to destroy or burn PVC products safely and with minimal effects on people and the environment.  

If your old PVC pipes and fittings are no longer reusable, bringing them to facilities with proper disposal and incinerator equipment and practices is your best option.

Recycling

Used PVC products can be recycled through two common methods:

Mechanical

Through mechanical recycling, old PVC pipes are crushed into smaller particles.

The powder, called recyclate, can be melted and molded into various products, usually the same one it was originally.

The recyclate can also be used as a base for new products when treated with the right chemicals.

Chemical or feedstock

This recycling method uses chemical processes, including pyrolysis, hydrolysis, and heating, to break down and transform PVC into chemicals.

The resulting chemicals from the process, which include calcium chloride, sodium chloride, and hydrocarbon substances, can be used as feed for different manufacturing processes and to produce new PVC.

These recycling methods effectively minimize waste and pave the way for more sustainable uses for old PVC products.

Several recycling facilities offer both methods, so this is an option you can look into when you have plenty of old PVC pipes and fittings at hand.

Reusing

Repurposing is considered one of the best solutions for dealing with used PVC pipes.

There are various ways for you to turn old PVC pipes and fittings into something usable in your residence or commercial property.

Below are some examples:

1. Vertical hanging planters

You can turn large PVC pipes into vertical planters for different types of plants. Simply cut them into smaller pieces and put a stoppage on each side.

Drill small holes for drainage on each planter as well.

Vertical PVC planters are great for a hanging succulent garden. You can also use them for growing hardy, native plants.

You have the option of painting the old pipes to give them a new look or leaving them as they are for your outdoor or indoor planters.

2. Vertical towers for climbers

You can use these old fixtures to grow climbing strawberries, grapes, and other fruit-bearing plants and vegetables.

PVC pipes make for great towers featuring  different types of climbing plants, such as clematis, ivy, Mandevilla, morning glory, and wisteria.

To make the towers more appealing, paint them with your choice of color. Additionally, make sure each pipe is lodged firmly on the ground before you start growing your climbers.  

3. PVC watering grid

A PVC watering grid is an excellent alternative for sprinklers for small gardens. It is also quite handy when you want to try square foot gardening to grow different kinds of plants.

This DIY watering system allows you to use old PVC pipes to water your garden faster and more efficiently.

Although this feature requires a few extra materials, such as a hose, timer, connectors, elbows, and other duct pipe fittings, it is still a great way to find a new use for your old smaller PVC pipes.

4. Bike stands

Old PVC pipes that are still in good shape are excellent materials for a new bike stand.

PVC pipes and fittings allow you to create portable and inexpensive bike stands. Since the materials are durable, you’ll be sure you can use them for a long time.

Additionally, you can customize the bike stands in terms of size and the number of bicycles they can accommodate.

There are other simple ways to repurpose old PVC pipes in your home as well, such as attaching a cut piece to the end of a downspout or drain to divert water away from your house.

You can also use smaller pipes as curtain rods and for controlling and hiding stray cords and cables.

With these ideas and methods for disposing of, recycling, and repurposing old PVC pipes, you have various options for dealing with these products when they reach the end of their life span.

Explore our lineup of PVC pipes, fittings, and other accessories on our Products page. 

Categories:Industry

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