Company upcycles wind turbine blades into benches and picnic tables » Yale Climate Connections


All over the world, wind turbines are generating clean, renewable energy.

But when they reach the end of their useful life, the giant fiberglass blades often end up as trash.

Donahue: “Our goal is to upcycle as much of the blade as possible.”

Brian Donahue works for Canvus, a company that repurposes old turbine blades by slicing them apart and using each section to build a bench or picnic table.

For some products, they turn a cross-section of the blade on its side and fill it with recycled rubber to create a bench.

For others, they place a seat inside the curved walls of the blade itself to create a shaded bench. Sometimes, the bolt holes where the blade was attached to the turbine are still visible.

Donahue: “That really leans into that story and helps us explain where it came from.”

To fund these transformations, Canvus lets people or businesses sponsor a bench for their local park or city center — which the company will affix with a QR code that links to advertising or a memory of a loved one.

Donahue estimates that Canvus can process about 1,500 blades annually.

And with thousands of old turbines scheduled to come down in the next few years, there will be no lack of used blades ready to find a new purpose.

Reporting credit: Ethan Freedman / ChavoBart Digital Media


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