Invented by the ancient Greeks, the firehose represents an essential part of historical and modern lifesaving equipment. However, old hoses decay very slowly in landfills, as the woven polyester and nylon fabrics take awhile to break down.
Safety guidelines encourage fire departments to junk old hoses after about ten years, and some cities are replacing antique linen hoses with newer rubber-lined ones. So there's a constant supply of scrap fire hose material, which some companies now divert from the trash and reuse in creative ways.
Fire Hose Supply, in Richmond, California, sells old and scrap hoses to people and other small businesses for a wide variety of projects. Chicago urban planner and sculptor Theaster Gates uses their recycled fire hose material in his work rebuilding damaged parts of the city's infrastructure. You may view his projects at theastergates.com
Other Fire Hose Supply customers fashion pet care products, clothing, children's playground structures, iPhone cases, purses, exercise equipment, and climbing ropes out of hoses that otherwise would have been thrown away. The antique hoses also find new life as movie or theater props, when they look authentic but no longer hold water or resist flame.
London and other European cities also have growing markets for products from recycled firehoses. This type of environmentally sustainable business venture seems popular and promising.
Readers may visit Fire Hose Supply at http://www.firehosesupply.com for more information on their new and upcycled equipment.