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A new life for used or broken skateboards makes the rides more sustainable and supports the local community

CDIY products

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Justina Tazibajeva
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With more than 20 million skateboarders worldwide and skateboarding's rapidly growing popularity after becoming a new Olympic sport, and with more than 300 000 broken skateboards going daily to landfills, there is an extensive skater-specific pollution problem around the world. Commune DIY (CDIY), a team of skateboarding professionals and enthusiasts, collects old, broken Canadian maple hardwood skateboards that have lost their original purpose and recycle them 100 %.

CDIY upcycles the reclaimed wood into sustainable products and new materials that, for the most part, are sold and find their home in other than skateboarding markets, with a part of the profit going back to support the local and regional skateboarding community. CDIY aims at promoting skateboarding as a sustainable sport with all its individual physical and psychological benefits as well as at making individuals, their communities and the wide public aware of how to solve the sport-specific pollution problems and to inspire other communities to search for solutions and acquire a sense of responsibility.

Skateboarding is known to be the number one cause of deforestation of the Canadian maple. Although there is no way to remake the broken board into a new one to reduce the demand for this wood, there is a way of keeping the broken hardwood away from landfills and recycling it 100 %, thus dealing with pollution from skateboarding. The new products made of it are sustainable, strong and have a new life span which is longer than the one of an average skateboard deck - only about a month before it breaks.

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Since 2014 CDIY has been:

  • collecting and saving thousands of broken skateboards from landfills
  • organising a few hundred recycling workshops (20 to 1000 participants each)
  • participating and talking about the issue in conferences, discussions, online presentations followed by thousands of people
  • strongly using their social media and online possibilities to spread the awareness. Every month they reach up to 100 000 people around the world

CDIY has recently created a new material - Skate OSB (oriented strand board) - that can be used in a large variety of markets (interior design, construction, DIY, makers, etc.). The new production processes allow recycling skateboard decks 30 times more and at a faster speed than before.