OK, so everyone knows about trex and thinks it’s great. Which OK, it’s maybe a little easier than standard decking in that it doesn’t need to be restained. But it does have some percentage of wood in it, and my understanding from reading (and visiting a relatives house) is it *DOES* certainly get mildew on it here in the lovely HOT AND HUMID summers in the northeastern US. What a pain in the rear! I want zero maintenance AND a “green” deck! Is it possible? I think so!
But wait, back up. So in addition to it (Trex, and it’s relatives in the “composite” category) not being NO MAINTENANCE, it’s also not particularly recyclable is my understanding (since it’s a mix of wood and plastic). OK, perhaps this will be different in 10/15/25 years when you decide (or the next owner) to huck it. But who knows?
So, what to do? I’ve heard good things about ipe/ironwood. As long as you can get sustainably harvested wood, you might be in good shape, since it apparently lasts a long long time.
But how about HDPE? Recyled Milk Jugs. YES! It gets an “A” in this GREEN DECKING REPORT
COST OF OWNERSHIP COMPARISON which seems not-totally-unreasonable based on my own experiences with a cedar deck for 5 years