by Blake D'Ippolito
The skateboard industry is a multi-million dollar per year industry that creates products that are destined to break and be replaced on a monthly basis. These skateboard decks average around $50 for a piece of reconstructed wood.
With Portland, Oregon being one of the most friendly cities toward skateboarding, it has become a mecca for skaters and skate-related companies to move here in large numbers over the last two decades. This growing community generates a lot of waste through buying new boards. With regular use, a skateboard deck has a life-expectancy of 4-6 weeks before needing replacement. That is nearly 10-12 skateboards a year per person!
While these old boards are not recyclable, there are some options that people have for extending the life of their expired decks. One option is to donate them to artist collectives, who can re-purpose them into art pieces. Maple XO, a local Portland, Oregon company does just this. They receive donations from local skaters, and create jewelry and household products from the old wood. This promotes less waste and allows for local business to generate revenue and income from donations and proper recycling! Check out some of the examples below!