Everyone deserves a second chance. Sometimes we don’t realize our potential on the first try. That’s definitely the motto of repurposedMATERIALS, a Colorado company working hard to upcycle unwanted items into products we need. Eventually, it’s thought that this second-life will be intentional, with more products incorporating a “cradle-to-cradle” design. Until that day, however, creative reuse is our best bet for conserving useful materials.

When coal and precious metal mines in the western part of Colorado started getting rid of their used conveyor belts, the Denver-based company was on hand, waiting to save them from the landfill. Today, those conveyor belts enjoy a second lease on life as shop flooring for the automotive industry and truck bed liners.

Repurposed conveyor belt flooring
Right image via repurposedMATERIALS

Because conveyor belting is designed to take a beating–in the mines it transports sharp chunks of rock and ore for miles underground–it’s perfect for applications where durability is paramount. Conveyor belting rubber is much stronger than other rubber materials of similar thickness, so it is rip, tear, and impact resistant, perfect for high impact environments like auto body shops and truck beds.

According to repurposedMATERIALS, conveyor belting absorbs oil and any other spills, keeping the floor beneath it clean. In addition, the conveyor belting has some give to it, which makes it easy on the knees and back. This unique “repurposing” concept not only adds life to the materials by keeping them out of the landfill, but provides a product that’s up to 75 percent cheaper than purchasing new. Other repurposed offerings include used rubber roofing membrane reborn as pond liners, retired wine barrels made into trash cans, and old street sweeper brushes used back scratchers for livestock. Check out the full inventory here.

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