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Repurposed corner: Recycled billboard tarps

Damon Carson Published on 21 April 2011

Progressive Dairyman is excited to bring you innovative ideas on reusing what some may consider to be "junk" materials. Look for future articles from Damon Carson, and be sure to submit your own repurpose ideas to .

Hay bales



The byproduct of industry:
You drive by them nearly every single day and you probably don’t even realize it half the time. In fact, many folks argue vehemently that these objects disrupt the inherent beauty of the countryside.

What am I describing? You guessed it... advertising billboards. Yes, the big display boards advertising the likes of Chevrolet, Budweiser and the nearest McDonald’s.

What many don’t know is that the vast majority of these billboards are a printed vinyl material. Long gone are the days of physically painting and re-painting these billboards with advertising.

The industry switched to this printed vinyl because of the cost because billboards are changed out so frequently.

That leaves only one problem: What to do with all these old, tired vinyls? And they are not small. A standard size billboard is 14’ x 48’.



The repurpose:
Interestingly, there are some really creative applications for these highway eye sores.

First, though, let’s find out about this vinyl material. It is super, heavy duty (20 mils thick and 13 oz/yd material) and they’re a heavier material than most any tarp you’d buy at the store. (The blue tarps at Home Depot are just 5 mils thick.) A typical 14’ x 48’ tarp actually weighs almost 70lbs.

Oh, and did I mention, they are completely waterproof.

So, the best repurposing of these billboard vinyls is as tarps.

Probably the No. 1 re-use of these billboard vinyls is to use them to cover hay. After hay, then they’re used to cover just about whatever — boats, RVs, drop clothes, leaky roofs, etc. PD

Damon Carson is the owner of in Denver, Colorado. The company has a diverse selection of repurposed products for sale. Its motto is: “recycling by re-using byproducts of industry.”