Thirty years ago when I received a degree in Environmental Biology, I never anticipated being in the horse fencing industry. A fence was something in the neighbor’s yard and horses were for horseback riding while on vacation. Recycling was just starting to gain momentum back then due to the growing concern for the huge amount of waste piling up in landfills. A lot of progress has been made since then but there is still plenty of room for improvement, especially since the U.S. remains the #1 trash-producing country in the world. While a career in environmental biology was not the route I eventually pursued, doing what is best for our environment has remained important. That is why I joined my husband in managing our horse fencing business, Buckley Fence. We manufacture, distribute and sell horse fencing products that are some of the most innovative and eco-friendly products in the industry.
The Steel Board Fence by Buckley Fence is made of steel and was designed to be a better horse fencing alternative than most of the wood and plastic fencing available today, and a fence that would not contaminate the environment or end up in a landfill at the end of its long and useful life. It was evident while researching the idea of a steel horse fence that the horse fencing industry was lacking a traditional post and rail board fence that was long lasting, strong enough for horses, not costly or time consuming to maintain, and environmentally friendly.
Steel is a very sustainable exterior material and is exceptional in its recycling content and reclamation rate. Unlike wood or vinyl, it will last several decades. When treated with a protective finish of powder coating that contains no solvents that release VOC’s (volatile organic compounds), its prolonged life is environmentally safe. The same cannot be said for PVC or wood. The lifecycle of PVC presents one opportunity after another for the formation and environmental discharge of organochlorines and other hazardous substances that are persistent and contaminate the environment. Preservatives used to prolong the life of wood also present opportunities for hazardous chemicals to be discharged into the environment, particularly in its disposal.
The major advantage of recycling steel is the fact that it can be recycled over and over again without losing any of the properties of the metal itself, which makes it a valuable commodity as scrap metal and the reason why nearly 70% of all steel is recycled. Recycling steel spreads the energy impact of the original extraction and manufacturing of materials over infinite generations of new steel. Not so with PVC or wood. While plastics such as PVC can be recycled, they can only be recycled into a material of lesser quality, or “downcycled,” meaning there is no reduction in the production of virgin PVC. The recycling rate of PVC is less than 3%. Most of it is eventually landfilled. Wood is even worse because it is very difficult to recycle. At best it can be carefully salvaged and reused. Most of it, however, is incinerated or landfilled.
It makes more sense to make use of available resources, particularly when it is easy to do so, rather than to continually deplete the earth’s natural resources. Use of recycled metals benefits our environment by:
- Using a lot less energy to melt down waste metal and recycle it instead of producing new metal;
- Reducing CO2 emissions and air pollution;
- Using less water and polluting less water;
- Reducing the need to mine the raw materials required to make the metal; and
- Reducing the amount of metal going to landfill.
The Buckley Steel Board Fence is truly an innovative horse fencing solution, and was born out of a desire to design a sustainable product that lasts long using recyclable materials. The fence components are made of cold rolled steel galvanized on both sides to prevent corrosion. The steel is formed into rails identical in initial appearance to wood or vinyl rails. The posts are formed similarly and have pre-punched rail openings lined with rubber grommets to protect the rails. The rails and posts are treated with a phosphate conversion coating and finished with an architectural grade polyester powder coating. Inside the posts are steel lock spacers that hold the rails in place and eliminate the need for nails or screws where rust can easily form. The end result is a tough and hard finish that is highly resistant to corrosion with exceptional paint adhesion and superior UV protection. The Steel Board Fence by Buckley Fence will not have to be replaced more than once in a lifetime. It is sustainable, strong, maintenance free and safe for horses and the environment. Feel good about making the environmentally friendly choice with Buckley Fence.
For more information on our fencing products, visit our website at www.BuckleyFence.com or call us toll free at 877-306-4024.
Vice President and part Owner of Buckley Fence in charge of business development and marketing and the other chief cook and bottle washer!