Recycling and Reusing Aluminium Windows and Doors

WANZ members facilitate both the recycling and the reuse of aluminium windows and doors.

At the present time, there are no arrangements in place for recycling other material types.

Aluminium windows and doors have comprised the overwhelming majority of window and doors used in New Zealand over the past several decades, and most of them remain in service to this day.

Recycling Aluminium Windows

The WANZ window manufacturers undertake to ensure that component materials are reused, recycled, or otherwise disposed of, in the most responsible manner available with current technology.

  • For example, the remelt of the aluminium frames is very energy efficient (only 5% of that required for making new aluminium) and it guarantees that the metal is available for reuse in any application that uses aluminium.
  • Some glass may be reused depending on its condition and whether or not it still meets the current  Building Code requirements. Scrap glass is commonly used to make fibreglass insulation.
  • Hardware alloys can be remelted and reused – a distinct advantage of local manufacturing.
  • Timber reveals from plantation forests are a sustainable resource and the old ones are unlikely to be reused. Permitted exotic timbers may be recycled depending on their condition.

How to Recycle Aluminium Windows

WANZ members will accept back, for recycling, aluminium windows and doors purchased from them. Please prearrange a convenient time with the WANZ member concerned regarding the logistics of the delivery arrangements.

WANZ members may, at their discretion, accept any other aluminium window or door regardless of who manufactured it. In the event that a member of the public is unable to make suitable arrangements for recycling of any aluminium window or door, please contact WANZ so that suitable arrangements can be made. Anecdotal evidence suggests that close to 100% of all disused aluminium windows are recycled or reused – WANZ aims to keep it that way.

Reusing Aluminium Windows

Aluminium windows have one of the longest average lifespans of all the available window framing materials available. As long as the used aluminium window still meets the requirements of the New Zealand Building Code, it can be reused and should provide a long life of very satisfactory service and low maintenance.

The Territorial Local Authority (TLA) will require evidence that the window which is proposed to be re-used is compliant with the current New Zealand Building Code.

The NZS4211 compliance label, which is attached to the window frame, is the starting point and confirms that the window was compliant for the location in which it was originally installed when first manufactured. It also confirms the design data for weathertightness and names the manufacturer.

The next step is to talk to the manufacturer about confirming the compliance status, reconditioning the window or door unit and upgrading any components to comply with the current codes. The reconditioned unit will be furnished with necessary documentation so that the TLA can accept it.

It is usually easier to relocate a window within the same building – e.g. an extension or alteration that requires a window to be removed and installed in another position - as the site records are usually available to assist the process.

Windows which have been traded as second-hand goods may not have reliable supporting evidence to assist in the cost-effective reconditioning of the product.