Whether it’s a ski boot, a snowboard past its prime, or even the wrapping a new bike got delivered in, nothing gets taken to the curb on trash day at one Albuquerque business.
“At the store, we never throw away anything. We always find a use a purpose for everything that comes in the store to be used somewhere else,” said Duane Kinsley, owner of Sport Systems on Montgomery and Louisiana.
Sport Systems was named the ‘2018 Recycler of the Year’ by the New Mexico Recycling Coalition because of the dozens of ways the store’s employees reduce and reuse.
“I think it’s part of the culture being in this industry, being outdoor people,” said Kinsley.
To name just a few of the ways, Sport Systems donated old bikes to the city’s Esperanza Bicycle Safety Education Center and they give local artists old bike chains and broken skis to turn into art.
They also work closely with Warehouse 508, a non-profit founded by Kinsley, which provides a venue for non-traditional sports and art experiences for local kids. Kids part of this program use recycled trash to create gowns.
“Magazines, trash bags, old plastic spoons and knives, things like that,” said Kinsley.
Kinsley says the store is planning even more ways to reduce and reuse, like installing a stationary power generating bike.
“So, if you want to use the microwave you got to get on the stationary bike and earn that,” said Kinsley.
Kinsley knows that will only create so much power, but he does credit his employees with generating nearly 100 ideas on how to make the store even greener. He says five years ago, he started a competition between employees. Whoever submitted the most, won a pair of airline tickets.
Kinsley says his staff is still motivated to keep coming up with new ideas to keep making the store even greener.
Kinsley says the store is now in the running in the national Recycler of the Year competition.