Two new organizations, ReSurf Recycling and Green Foam Blanks, are teaming up to help find new ways to reuse the toxic waste created from surfboard manufacturing. Business partners and surf industry veterans, Joey Santley and Steve Cox, are heading up the endeavors to help reduce landfill waste from the surfing industry.
According to the organizations, “more than 1,000 surfboards being produced per day between Los Angeles and the Mexico border. Additionally, nearly 20 percent of the foam needed to shape each board is rendered as waste and inevitably ends up in landfills.”
ReSurf Recycling launched in 2007, offering the first method to recycle all surfboards and waste associated with their manufacturing. The organization has “developed a method that recycles somewhat hazardous surfing-associated materials into numerous products including asphalt for paving city roads.”
Additionally, the organization developed a method to produce 100 percent recycled yoga mats made using neoprene scraps from wetsuit production. Big players in the industry are already joining in, as popular wetsuit manufacturers O’Neill and Quiksilver will be recycling all of domestic unused materials through this program.
Cox, co-founder of the company, said “ReSurf Recycling has literally invented a system of transforming discarded surfboards and previously unusable waste into asphalt and concrete that can be used to pave city roads as part of our nation’s road to recovery. It’s our goal to have surfers driving to the beach on roads paved with their old boards and to recycle the estimated 250 tons of neoprene waste that is created from wetsuit scraps each year!”
Green Foam Blanks
Since ReSurf has taken off, Santley and Cox set off on their next endeavor: to create a board made from recycled polyurethane foam and “put to rest a 50-year-old notion that toxic surfboard manufacturing waste and broken and used board components could not be recycled to create new boards,” through their new organization, Green Foam Blanks.
Matt “Mayhem” Biolos of …Lost Surfboards was given the opportunity to shape the first surfboard using a recycled blank, which is now on display at the Surfing Heritage Museum in San Clemente, Calif.
During an interview with Surfing Magazine, Santley said, “Well, the first board is 65 percent recycled foam. All I did was sweep up the foam dust from the shaping machine and bays of Mayhem’s factory and mixed it into our blending process. Of course, there has to be some virgin polyurethane in there to make everything adhere, but this is a huge start. We’re hoping to get the boards up to 70 to 80 percent recycled.”
“We’re just doing what we’re supposed to be doing,” he added.
The boards are already being praised as being equal in durability, lightness and function as current high-performance surfboards made with traditional, virgin polyurethane foam.
“Starting immediately, we will offer Green Foam Blanks to anyone who wishes to get a board made” said Biolos.