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Green Building News

Selling Reclaimed Snow Fence Boards For Siding

Recyclers replace weathered 1x6 boards on this Wyoming snow fence with new lumber. The old boards are resold to green builders for use as siding, flooring, and wainscot.
Image Credit: Centennial Woods

Wyoming Recycler Finds New Uses For Weathered 1x6s

LARAMIE, Wyo. — For the past nine years, a Laramie recycling company, Centennial Woods, has been satisfying a growing market for recycled lumber by dismantling old snow fencing. The company has secured maintenance contracts from the state of Wyoming to replace weathered boards on miles of snow fence with new lumber. Formerly burned or discarded as waste, the old 1x6s are now sold for $1.69 a linear foot to green builders, mostly for use as board-and-batten siding.

Wyoming maintains 200 miles of snow fencing. The 16-foot-tall structures are installed in windy areas to prevent snow from drifting onto highways. Most snow fence boards are Ponderosa pine, although spruce, fir, and lodgepole pine are also used. Wyoming’s dry, windy climate contributes to the boards’ longevity; the state replaces the boards every 7 to 25 years.

According to Grant Porder, Centennials’ vice president for customer care, the reclaimed boards have an average moisture content of 7% when they are pulled from the fence. The 16-foot boards are trimmed to remove rot before they are resold.

Business Is Growing

“People are just looking for a good, true, solid wood product that they can use without guilt,” said John Pope, the president of Centennial Woods, explained to an Associated Press reporter. “What we really did is we recognized by building a national and international market for the wood, by highlighting its green aspects and its beauty, that we could grow this into a substantial business.”

Centennial has customers all over the country. “Five years ago, we probably could have credibly sold wood into maybe 10 or 15 markets in the United States,” said Pope. “Now we also sell wood to places like Kansas City, Dallas, Boston, Manhattan, Los Angeles, Portland.”

While Centennial recycled about 4 to 6 miles of snow fence in 1999, the company now dismantles between 20 and 25 miles every year. “The difference is green building,” said Pope.

2 Comments

  1. Rob Moody | | #1

    Wind Fence
    I've used the windfence for siding. It's seems like a good reuse situation and they have good customer service.

  2. Erin | | #2

    Thanks for the article!
    Thanks for the article, and the encouraging comment! We really are proud of the product that we provide, and love it when people take an interest. For more information on Centennial Woods, our product, or just to look at some of the truly amazing projects that have been completed using reclaimed Wyoming snowfence check out our website at http://www.centennialwoods.com .

    Erin
    Centennial Woods

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