Although this comparison of costs is derived from construction of a walkway, it's obvious results can apply to any situation where the two materials would be continually be exposed to water and at the mercy of other adverse weather conditions outdoors.
Assumptions In the case of wood, it is assumed that maintenance will be undertaken annually after 2 years, and replacement be necessary after 7 years. The annual cost of maintenance involving both labour and materials is averaged at £176 per annum. This figure to not take account of inflation.
In the time period illustrated, a 100m walkway cost £1300 in timber and just £370 using Recycled plastic materials.
Conclusion The costs are initially higher for recycled plastic but the lifetime costs very much lower compared to treated wood.
* Established in 2000, WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme) is an independent body funded by all 4 UK Governments and the EU, with responsibility for promoting recycling programmes throughout the UK.
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