After much research, an Albertville-based company has discovered a way of recycling used ski gear.
Thousands of tons of used skis, snowboards, ski boots, poles, helmets and sledges are thrown away each year by ski rental shops across the French Alps. Traditionally, the items get crushed along with other rubbish destined for landfill and that's that.
Now waste disposal company Tri-Vallees is set to change this. In 2006 the company trialled their new method in La Plagne. They collected 15 tonnes of used ski gear. The metal is separated from the rest of the material. The ski is then crushed using seven consecutive crushers until the fine particles. These particles are then used as combustible material in a cement-making factory in neighbouring Isere.
The project continued in 2007 with 40 tonnes being collected across 15 ski stations. Tri-Vallees continues to expand and hope to collect over 200 tonnes of thrown out ski gear in 2008 across Savoie and Haute Savoie thanks to a contract with SkiSet. The collection costs the ski shop 2 euros per item, but makes for an easy, more environmental way for ski hire shops to get rid of those rear entry boots that no-one wants to hire anymore!
Photo credit: Dauphine Libere