What can I do with my old skis, boots, and snowboard equipment?
Seattle area skiers and snowboarders can drop off old gear at these locations.
Drop off your gear and Ski Artistry will pick it up for upcycling and recycling.
- Ski poles
- Ski boots (please remove liners)
- No cross-country skis, sorry.
SHOP HERE for upcycled stuff! https://www.etsy.com/shop/skiartistry
DROP OFF LOCATIONS
Sturtevant’s 13131 NE 20th Street, Bellevue, WA. Recycle bin located at the backside of the building by the Tune Shop entrance.
Seattle Ski & Snowboard 14915 Aurora Ave N, Shoreline, WA
Alpine Hut 2215 15th Ave W, Seattle, WA
Stevens Pass Drop off at their lost and found area
RECYCLE & UPCYCLING INFO
You can drop off skis, ski boots, ski poles and snowboards any time of the year at these partner locations and Ski Artistry will make sure it doesn’t hit the landfill. Hundreds if not thousands of skis are tossed in the landfill every year in the greater Seattle area. Skis cannot be recycled in the traditional sense because they have a complex construction of glues, wood, metal, and plastic. Ski Artistry finds craftspeople to take the skis and find new uses for them. They could end up on a ski fence, in a bench, coat rack, bookends, toilet paper dispenser, and the list goes on.
Ski Artistry is Brian Geppert, located in Seattle, WA. Brian has been picking up gear from a few area ski stores for several years. Don’t toss your stuff in the garbage, drop it off at any of our stores and let Brian rescue those old skis or snowboards.
From Brian; “Efforts at a true ski recycling program began in Colorado where the Snowsports Industries of America (SIA) launched a pilot program in 2009. It grew to 65 stores and collected over 700,000 pounds of equipment by 2013.
The program would take old equipment and put it through a large shredder (skis, bindings, and all). The hope was that the bits that came out could be used in various construction materials. The shredder was mounted on a railcar and moved to various locations. In the summer of 2015, Sturtevant’s in Bellevue arranged to have the shredder sent up north for recycling but received news in July that the recycling program was discontinued. The program had problems finding a revenue source since it cost approximately $0.35/pound.
The idea for local ski recycling started after I decided to build a bench from old skis. I had driven by the Cascade Nursery along Hwy 2 many times and seen their tremendous ski fence. It occurred to me that maybe they had a few leftover skis they wouldn’t mind parting with. I stopped one day and spoke with the owner, Jake Sharpe. He was happy to give away a few skis from his vast collection. After donating the bench to Mission Ridge, I couldn’t help but wonder where old skis go after they outlive their useful life.
At that time, Goodwill would have an annual ski sale in October in Monroe, WA. They were storing up skis all year, transporting them to Monroe then trying to sell them. I figured they would have plenty of unsold equipment that would need to be disposed so I approached the head of the Puget Sound Goodwill, Randy Strong. He was eager to recycle their skis. In 2015, though, the Everett warehouse manager that stored the skis (Alex Smith) decided to cancel the Monroe ski sale because it was too costly. He was not interested in recycling skis and did not want to receive any more skis because he all too often would have to throw them away. In speaking with the individual stores, such as the Everett Goodwill (Israel Juarez), I learned that they still send their skis to the warehouse if they cannot sell them. The individual stores say they cannot recycle them because they are required to send them to the warehouse if they cannot sell them. The warehouse does not want them and claims to not have room to store any skis of any quantity for recycling.
I turned skis into coat hooks and then decided that I should pursue other venues. I approached Tracy Gibbons of Sturtevant’s in Bellevue to see if they would like to participate in ski recycling. They were enthusiastic about ski recycling and remain one of the top recyclers in the area.
Stevens Pass participates in a different way. Although they don’t act as a collection point, they do end up with many skis/poles from either abandonment, lost & not found, or damaged rental equipment. Stevens Pass donates all of their unusable ski equipment to the ski recycling program.
In a year, it can be several hundred skis that get picked up. I build as many items as I can from the old skis and sell the functional ski art through Etsy. Most of the skis find uses by others craftsman or individuals looking to build their own ski fences. I work through Craigslist to find other artists and upcyclers that need skis for their projects. I’ve had inquiries from as far away as North Carolina from artists looking for skis for their projects. Usually, the people are much closer to Seattle, but some will drive up from Oregon in search of skis.
Skis make for a great building material for projects because they are so strong. Each ski has different uses depending on its characteristics.
Long skis are good for shot skis since you need enough shoulder room between shot glasses. Skis with beautiful graphics near the tips would lend themselves to wall-mounted ski-tip bottle openers. If a pair of skis has interesting graphics and has a flat stop surface near the tail, then they could be made into bookends. The flat top surface is needed for the tip and tail to be joined.
Skis with larger graphics lend themselves to wine bottle racks. And shorter skis are best for coat/towel racks/hooks. Fat skis provide a lot of material so that a single ski can be cut and assembled into a bird feeder. Ski poles have two pieces that are useful – the handle and the basket. The handle and pole can be used as a beer tap handle, attached to make a custom ice scraper, or a toilet plunger. The pole + basket can serve as a coat hook on a ski. If the pole is unsalvageable, then the basket and handle can be removed and the aluminum pole truly recycled.
Drop off your skis, ski boots, ski poles and snowboards at any of our stores. Take a look at Brian’s upcycled creations his Etsy store link.
If you have a use for large quantities of old skis, contact Brian to be added to the registry of ski re-purposers.