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Close to 2 million broken skateboard decks go to landfills each year from skate shops alone. Picture this: There are approximately 5,000 skate shops in the United States, each accumulating around 50 broken skateboard decks a month. Most decks are thrown in the trash, as sending them to landfills is sometimes, unfortunately, less expensive than finding ways to recycle.
These facts come to us from I Ride I Recycle, the first-ever national grassroots skate deck recycling movement. This movement is leading the charge for sustainability in the skateboard industry and providing skate and surf shops, skate parks, skate companies, manufacturers and retailers with a way to recycle.
People ship recycled decks to I Ride I Recycle in leftover cardboard boxes using an I Ride I Recycle Action Kit and prepaid UPS shipping labels. Thanks to them, this awesome initiative is providing a way for skaters to recycle broken decks at local shops and parks and save them from going to landfills.
Recycle Skateboards at a Shop Near You
I Ride I Recycle is a program of Pennsylvania-based Art of Board, which is dedicated to transforming broken skateboards into wall and surface art to be used in commercial and residential spaces. Rich Moorhead, founder of Art of Board, speaks to the evolution of the program, “When our recycling movement began, it was very regionally based, averaging about 30 decks per month. Today the I Ride I Recycle movement embraces shops across the nation, quickly becoming the sustainable solution for the skateboarding industry, and the number of broken decks tracking towards 300 per month and growing.”
Support this movement by using their Shop Locator to find an authorized skate, surf shop or park near you. Currently, there are over 100 shops across the U.S. and the program is growing rapidly.
Great Recycled Skateboard Stuff
Recycled skateboard furniture is also super cool- check out this skateboard stool.
MapleXO makes cool earrings, magnets, necklaces, belt buckles and other accessories out of recycled skateboards. Makes perfect gifts!
Japanese artist Haroshi crafts his art pieces by recycling old skateboards. You definitely need to see his creations, they are amazing wooden mosaics.
We’re particularly fond of his Mario series. Haroshi carefully chooses decks and then they are stacked, cut, shaven, and polished using a variety of tools.
According to his website, he often goes around picking up and collecting broken skateboard parts, and feels reluctant to throw away trashed skateboards. The creative style he uses is similar to the way traditional wooden Japanese Great Buddhas are built.
Remember: By recycling skateboards at participating shops, you help reuse waste in a smart way, support charities and help build skate parks in low-income areas. Your purchase of anything made from recycled skateboards supports recycling, environmentally responsible manufacturing and reusing wood waste. Do what you can!