Canvus Inc., an Ohio-based manufacturer, is transforming retired turbine blades into benches, picnic tables and planters for communities.
Blades on the wind turbines can fall, be damaged or just need to be replaced, and Canvus is working towards solutions to keep them out of landfills.
Roughly 5,000 to 8,000 blades are taken down each year. Some companies have tried to shred the blades to repurpose them in the past, but Canvus is focused on shaping them into something new.
"Nobody to date has really come up with a good solution for the fiberglass blades when they come down," said Brain Donahue, managing partner. "When they first started coming down, they were getting cut up and put in the landfills and that was a really bad PR narrative for the industry because [wind energy is] green and renewable and [then] filling up the ground with fiberglass that's not going to break down or go anywhere anytime soon."
Founder Parker Kowalski, currently a managing director at Canvus, started working at the company three years ago after working for another company that sought alternatives for fiberglass blades. Canvus has been up and running since April 2022.
Kowalski brought on his sister, Kayla Kowalski Funk, as vice president of strategic growth. Donahue and Seth Whitney, senior director of products, have helped grow the business.