Fire stations are fixtures of our communities, but like any operation, they produce waste. Once a fire hose no longer passes tests for effectiveness, it must be decommissioned, and there is no simple way to recycle those hoses.
Enter Oxgut Hose Company of Emeryville, Calif., which salvages old fire hoses from fire stations in California and turns them into one-of-a-kind chairs, mats, phone cases, slippers and other accessories, keeping this previously landfill-bound material in use.
“That was the discovery, the realization that not only is this material amazing and resilient, but there’s so much of it, even from one small station, that really gets sent to landfill,” LauraLe Wunsch, Oxgut Hose Company’s founder, tells Earth911. “There’s not really a system or a process in place, so through no fault of the fire department, through no fault of anyone, that’s just the situation.”
That discovery, Wunsch says, is where Oxgut Hose Company began.
Next page: Oxgut’s Origins