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One man's trash is another man's … furniture? An Ohio startup turns old wind turbine blades into park benches

By Ryan Cardenas
-    Jan 11, 2024
Credit : GMI Post

The world’s wind industry will be producing 43 million tons of windmill and wind turbine blade waste by 2050, according to a 2021 study published in the scientific journal Waste Management. That is roughly the same estimated weight of the Great Wall of China — the entire wall. And as more energy companies across nations move toward wind power production, the amount of blade waste produced annually is projected to rise exponentially. 

Canvus Vice President of Corporate Affairs Brian Donahue

The problem? Most wind turbine blades are enormous, with some being longer than the wing of a Boeing 747, so at the end of their lifespan they can’t be easily disposed of or hauled away. Most of these retired blades, which are made out of valuable and tough materials like fiberglass, copper, aluminum, and steel, simply end up in landfills.

Enter, Canvus.

Canvus, an Ohio-based startup founded in 2022, turns retired wind turbine blades into beautiful park benches, planters, and picnic tables for public spaces across the U.S.

“We upcycle retired wind turbine blades into benches, planters, and picnic tables for communities across the U.S. Every piece is unique, utilizing the blade’s natural organic shape to craft big, bold, and beautiful products,” said Canvus Communications Manager Mike Crissman in an interview with The Business Download.

In addition to using the actual blades, Canvus also incorporates recycled materials such as old tires, shoes, and plastic into their products.

According to Canvus Vice President of Corporate Affairs Brian Donahue, the company also works with local artists to design their products and has sold “hundreds if not thousands” to U.S. communities including public spaces in Ohio, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Arizona, California, and Kentucky. He adds the company’s goal is to handle 10,000-15,000 blades a year.

“We develop products that not only serve essential functions needed in our public spaces but also bring a sense of excitement and uniqueness. All our upcycled benches, planters, and picnic sets are fully assembled, maintenance-free, and built to last 25+ years,” said Canvus on its official website as it emphasized that their products not only solve a problem but also create new opportunities for companies to give back to local communities.

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