Tarp Recycling: Sustainable Disposal and Repurposing Solutions

Tarp Recycling: Sustainable Disposal and Repurposing Solutions

Feb 28th 2024

So you have a heavily loved tarp that's starting to fray and isn't as useful as it once was. You've decided that you're going to dispose of it but you want to make sure you can do so in a sustainable way. While the intention might be there, the means to do so might not be as clear. Many people wonder if tarps can be recycled, or what you should do with them once you've determined that you no longer need them. At Canopies and Tarps, we have answers for you. Let's discuss what you can do with those old tarps that you have lying around.

Are Tarps Recyclable?

The main question, of course, is whether or not tarps can be recycled. Unfortunately, the answer is "not usually." Many tarps are constructed with materials that cannot be processed by recycling centers, though new tarps are designed to be recycled once they have begun to fray or fall apart. This, of course, primarily affects poly, PVC and vinyl tarps, which are made of oils and plastics that don't naturally biodegrade at a fast rate. Canvas and cloth tarps are less of a concern, as they are made of cotton that will break down once disposed of. So, if you can't recycle your tarps, what should you do with them?

How to Dispose of Tarps

When it comes to disposing of tarps, the most frequent solution is to dispose of them with the trash. However, there are alternatives. Many cities have adopted recycling or disposal plants that specifically deal with oil-based plastics that cannot be traditionally recycled. By searching for tarp disposal near you, you may be able to find a location that can process your tarp so that it can be broken down or reused instead of being added to a landfill. While this may be the best solution for tarp disposal, there are other things you can do with old tarps as well.

Repurposing Your Old Tarps

If you use a tarp for construction or as a drop cloth, damage over time can render it useless or dangerous in those situations. However, even the most damaged tarp can be repurposed for something else. Damaged tarps can be used to raise garden bedding by fitting portions below planting soil. They can also be used as sun shades or made into firewood totes. Even damaged tarps can be used as covers for equipment and machinery to keep dust and debris off. Finally, if you cannot find another personal use for it, you can always consider donating the tarp.

Buying Tarps That Last

Of course, the best way to avoid sending a tarp to a landfill is to invest in durable tarps that last and won't become damaged so easily. At Canopies and Tarps, you can find a wide variety of specialized or heavy-duty tarps that will last you for years, allowing you to keep your projects going without the need to replace or dispose of your tarps. Shop our wide and varied selection today and invest in tarps that last.