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Notes on using Bedford's recycled plastic lumber for boardwalks

One success story in recycling is using waste HDPE plastic to make sturdy structural material resembling wood lumber. Plastic lumber is resistant to splintering or deteriorating, which makes it useful in the recreation field.

image: recycled plastic lumber decking
Photo showing grain of recycled plastic lumber decking


Bedford Technology, LLC, 2424 Armour Road, Worthington, MN 57187
Phone (800) 721 9037

photo of boardwalk
A new installation with light wood-toned material

Bedford Technology, LLC® manufactures plastic lumber utilizing high quality recycled HDPE. The vast majority of the lumber is made from 100% post-consumer recycled plastic milk jugs and laundry detergent containers. The company's feedstock also incorporates both post-consumer and post-industrial recyclable plastic into certain colors. But for the most part, the boards consist of melted plastic jugs.

Bedford offers two grades of plastic lumber, Select™ and a reinforced plastic board, FiberForce®. There are over 35 profiles, 15 color options, and Bedford has the ability to manufacture custom shapes and sizes. CNC routing allows for superior design and routing capabilities for projects requiring custom fabrication.

photo of boardwalk

Boardwalk under construction

The versatility of this product along with its maintenance-free appeal, make it an excellent choice for many projects. Applications from playgrounds; decks, docks, piers, pilings and whalers; to boardwalks, trails, and bridges; landscape timbers, retaining walls, raised garden beds and fencing; arbors, gazebos and pergolas; truck sideboards, custom signs, speed bumps and parking curbs; pipe supports and truck mats.

Bedford's current production requires about 15 million pounds of post consumer and post industrial plastic each year saved from landfills. It takes approximately eight 1-gallon milk containers to make a pound of material. A standard 2x4 board weighs 2 pounds per foot. Therefore a 2 x 4 x 8 foot board would require 128 milk containers!The entire process is environmentally friendly. No toxic by-products or noxious fumes are associated with the production of our boards. There is also no waste. Purge or cut ends are ground up and recycled back through the process. You may also be interested in checking out the organization called the Healthy Building Network that rates businesses/products in the construction industry.

photo of boardwalk

Bedford Technology states, "Our future looks bright considering that at present the national average of post-consumer collection is approximately 35%. The other 65% is sitting in landfills! We have a long ways to go in this country."


Cleaning can be done with brush using a mild soap and water, or if available, a power washer. As with any facility, inadequate maintenance can result in injuries. Because the safety of equipment and its suitability for use depend on good inspection and maintenance, a comprehensive maintenance program must be developed and strictly followed. All equipment should be inspected frequently for any potential hazards. Inspections should be carried out in a systematic manner by trained personnel. Any damaged or worn parts, or any other hazards identified during inspection must be repaired or replaced. Signed records of all maintenance inspections and repairs should be retained, including the installation instructions and site plans. A record of any accident or injury reported to have occurred on the equipment should also be retained.

Some representative projects around the country:

  • United States Ave. Bridge, Lindenwold NJ
  • City of Springfield, IL - boardwalk & pier
  • Crow Island, IL - boardwalk
  • Mingo National Wildlife Reserve, Puxico MO - boardwalk
  • Alta Lake State Park, WA - boardwalk
  • Scottsdale AZ - bridge
  • Bruderhoff community, Ulster Park NY - large swimming platform
  • Zion National Park - amphitheater
  • Mammoth Cave National Park - amphitheater
  • Apache Junction, AZ - boat dock and pier

List of Projects in Florida that have used Bedford’s Recycled Structural Plastic Lumber:

City Of Daytona Beach - Pedestrian Walkway at Library - Completed 2003

photo of sign with trail map

Boardwalk at Mingo National Wildlife Reserve, Puxico, MO


City Of Cape Coral Projects :

  • Yacht Club - Fishing Pier, 900’ w/200’ Tee - Completed 1999
  • Veterans Parkway Eco-Park Fishing Pier, 400’ Long - Completed 2000
  • Eco-Park Nature Walk, 1200’ Long - Completed 2004
  • Rotary Club Nature Walk, 1200’ Long - Completed 2004
  • Sun Splash Water Park, Bridges and Various Walkways - Completed 1999

City Of Sanibel - Cross Over At Light House - 1000’ Long Elevated - Completed 1997

J.N. Ding Darling State Park - 3500’ of Nature Walkways throughout Park - Completed 1998-2004

Collier County-Naples projects

  • Barefoot Beach at Lely, 4000’ of Beach Crossover - Completed 2002
  • Registry Resort Hotel, Clam Pass Park: 5000’ Bridge from Hotel to Beach - Completed 2000
  • Marco Island Tiger Tail Beach, six Dune Crossovers 200’ each; Boardwalk to Beach, 1000’ Long - Completed 2002
photo: Wood carvings by artist Stanley J. (Slim) Maroushek in Harmony, MN's Hobo Camp
Lakeside boardwalk for Springfield, Illinois, Park District

City of Flagler Beach - Boardwalk on Beach, 3000’ Long - Completed 1993

City Of Oviedo - Elevated Walkways 3000’ long - Completed 1999

The Conservancy at Disney Preserve - Kissimmee Elevated Nature Walkway, 800’ long - Completed 2003

City Of Coral Springs-Broward County - Tall Cypress Natural Area, 2300’ Elevated Nature Walkway - Completed 2001

photo of sign with trail map

Chappaqua boardwalk project


City Of Venice - 800’ Fishing Pier, Mix of Recycled Plastic Lumber and Hardwoods - Completed 2004

Anglers Club Marina, Key Largo - 2100’ Long Marina-Boat Slips, Completed 2003

City of Largo

  • 3500’ Elevated Nature Walkway
  • 1000’ Elevated on Pilings Walkway over a lake - Completed 2001

For more information:

Bedford Technology, LLC
2424 Armour Road
Worthington, MN 57187
Phone 800 721 9037
Fax 507 372 5726

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October 14, 2008