Recycle - Convert used materials into new products. Figure out what you can recycle and where.Reuse - Lengthen the life of a product or material before it is recycled or disposed.



Scrap fabric, foam


We get a lot of our fabric as scrap form a local drysuit factory, but end up with smaller scraps of our own. It's all waterproof polyurethane coated nylon, and ends up in small pieces and strips.
We're looking for a way to get rid of it without throwing it away.

We also produce a fair amount of foam scraps. It's US made, closed cell foam (it doesn't absorb moisture or take a set). It'd be great to find a way to recycle this material by shredding it and/or finding a good use for it. *******

UPDATE: Thanks for the great suggestions and comments! Still seeking a solution that is less labor and time intensive.

Challenge Guidelines

Best solution for dealing with our scrap materials

What this challenge offers to the winner

One Truce sailcloth tote bag

Which state this challenge is located in


Current Solutions

Comments (13)

Ursala Garbrecht: Are the nylon scraps big enough to sew?

Luke Mathers: Depends on what you're making... They're usually smaller (2" by 4", for example) odd shapes, or ~2" x10" strips.

Rosemary Mc Grath: Would they work as filling or stuffing for a comfy waterproof kayak seat cushion? (or similar?) My tailbone always hurts after a short paddle.

Chris Welvaert: I am interested in the closed cell foam scraps. I have a small manufacturing shop that makes concrete countertops. My thoughts are to grind down the foam and put it in the concrete mix. It would reduce the amount of concrete I use and it would make it lighter. How much foam in a month are you currently throwing away?

Luke Mathers: I've been holding on to it so far. I have a black garbage bag full of foam scraps right now - I probably make a garbage bag full every two months or so.

Staci Schwarz: Using the smaller pieces of fabric, pieced together like a quilt, you can make cushions of any type or sort. Use your scraps of foam, cut up, to fill the cushions, I have a pillow like this and I love it! The cushions would have the marketability of being waterproof or water resistant, they could be trendy kid proof chair cushions, camping cushions, stadium cushions, boating cushions, or pet beds. Another option would be a patchwork bag, or diaper bag with fold out padded changing pad (using the pieces of foam). For a patchwork design that uses scraps of every shape and size, google crazy quilt and also confetti quilt. Confetti quilts make use of the tiniest pieces. And with your tiniest of scraps, use them to stuff things, eco toys or eco pillows.

Staci Schwarz: I am so sorry, my browser must not have been working right. Feel free to delete the last 4 repeated comments

Richard Halpern: No worries Staci, it's easy to delete duplicates. Thanks for the great suggestions!

Beth Clifton: Contact a local packing company, see where they source there packing materials etc. etc. I ship on Ebay and I pick up free foam/ scraps ALL the time. If you have a constant supply, they might be able to break it down for you/sell as packing material. As long as the foam isn't too dense as that will negative effect shipping cost.

Skip Cannon: We are a nonprofit and are building eco homes for those who have been affected by disasters. Would like to use your foam if you can pack it and ship it. We potentially could pay for the shipping costs. Would this be a solution for you?

Spencer Wheeler: I would take it to use on my freestyle motocross foam pit. I will take all the foam you have. If your interested let me know. Just an easy way for you to get rid of it.

Spencer Wheeler: Not only would I use the foam in a way that it is being recycled but we would count it as a sponsorship and promote your company.

Solema Mark: Hello its interesting topic.. _________________________________ cheap assignment help

If you'd like to post an EcoChallenge or a comment, become a member today. It's free!

Search EcoCategories by clicking on icons:

  • Buy_green_68x68_blue Buy Green - Seek out organic foods or products made with non-toxic ingredients.
  • Carbon_offsets_68x68_blue Carbon Offsets - Any action to reduce (or offset) greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Green_shipping_68x68_blue Green Shipping - Use reusable/recycled packaging. Use a green shipping company or method.
  • Light_less_68x68_blue Light Less - Choose energy efficient light bulbs and machinery. Redesign to let in natural light to consume less electricity.
  • Recycle_68x68_blue Recycle - Convert used materials into new products. Figure out what you can recycle and where.
  • Reduce_waste_68x68_blue Reduce Waste - Anticipate a way to prevent waste before it happens.
  • Reuse_68x68_blue Reuse - Lengthen the life of a product or material before it is recycled or disposed.
  • Think_local_68x68_blue Think Local - Buy locally and support prosperity in your community.

What are the Eco Icons? For any EcoChallenge, choose one or more icons that best reflects the category of sustainability that is helped by an EcoSolution. If an EcoSolution results in a new way to recycle something, choose the Recycle Icon; if an EcoSolution results in less waste production, choose the Reduce Waste Icon. A new water conservation method may represent multiple icons. You decide! If your EcoChallenge does not fall under any of the Icons, please let us know so we can create a new one! Scroll over each Eco Icon for a definition.