How to Re-Use and Recycle Old Skateboards

May 6, 2012 View all articles in Re-Use-It

You know from reading our other article “Three Green Skateboard Brands” that the popularity of skateboarding has increasingly contributed to Canadian maple deforestation and worldwide landfill waste. What we left out of the article, however, is that skate decks can also require such materials as fiberglass, resin, Kevlar, carbon fiber, aluminum, and plastic. Altogether, the skate board is comprised of numerous environmentally devastating materials. So for that reason, we've put together a list of some of the things you can do with your old, used skate decks. And in case you're not particularly crafty or skilled with a jigsaw blade, we've showcased a selection of purchasable items made from old decks!

DONATE

  • Boards for Bros is a group of skateboarders that formed in 2005 with the idea to collect and refurbish skateboards so they can be redistributed back to children in Tampa , Florida who cannot afford their own. In the process, the group has been working to show that “skateboarding can help children learn discipline, respect, and perseverance that will assist them throughout their entire lives, while having fun and exercising.” If you'd like to find out more about Boards for Bros, or if you'd like to donate “hardgoods,” send an email to ryan@skateparkoftampa.com. Their website also says you can send your old, repairable decks and hardware, which includes decks, wheels, trucks, and bearings, etc., to the following address:

Skatepark of Tampa
Attn: Boards for Bros
4215 East Columbus Drive
Tampa , Florida 33605

  • Your local Goodwill, Salvation Army, or St. Vincent de Paul will gladly accept your gently used skateboard, but most likely only if it's in workable condition, with all necessary wheels, trucks, and bearings included.

RE-USE

  • If your home has a laundry chute, place a laundry basket on top of a skateboard that's sat directly below the chute. When you're ready to do laundry, you can just roll the load over to the washing machine.
  • When your son or daughter is ready for a new skateboard, turn the old one into a picture frame or bookshelf for their room. You can find detailed instructions for both by visiting eHow.com.
  • Sit cross-legged on an old skateboard to save your knees while you paint a baseboard. You can roll along with your paintbrush and can instead of crawling along the floor!

SUPPORT

  • MapleXO is a Portland, Oregon-based company that recycles skateboards into earrings, necklaces, pocket mirrors, belt buckles, rings, money clips, magnets, iPhone cases, drawer knobs, cufflinks, and more. MapleXO gets their skateboards from skate shops, friends, supporters, skateboarders, and skateboard companies from all over the world. MapleXO's owner and founder gives back to the community by reducing the environmental footprint of skateboarding and by so doing, gives old boards new life.
  • The Sk8bags Collection by Beck(y) features round and square tote bags, clutch bags, and gym bags made with salvaged skateboard pieces. They are truly works of art that have to be seen to be believed. In addition to these get-noticed bags, the company also offers belt buckles, money clips, hoop earrings, pendants, stick earrings, and iPod covers. Just like skateboarding, all Beck(y) products are functional art. To keep the recycled decks going to Beck(y)'s workshop and to give back to the skateboarding community, the company's owner, Beck Hicky, founded the Boards 4 Bowls program. For every used board she receives, Beck donates to a variety of non-profit organizations dedicated to building and maintaining public skate parks.
  • Pennsylvania-based Deckstool collects broken skateboards from skate shops and parks in the US and Canada and recycles them into unique stools, benches, magnets, and bottle openers. You can also send in your own broken skateboards and Deckstool will produce a custom stool or bench using your own decks. Visit Deckstool's Etsy store to view their entire line of recycled skateboard products available for purchase.

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