The Isla Vista Surfrider Foundation will launch a coordinated project with nonprofit organization ReRip next quarter to collect and repurpose broken or unwanted surf equipment.
The foundation intends to place a collection bin along the beachside intersections of Del Playa Drive for recycling all forms of damaged or used surf equipment.
“The collection bin will be a physical emblem of Isla Vista sustainability efforts,” said Benny Drescher, an intern for I.V. Surfrider.
The broken longboards, wetsuits and other surf gear will be distributed to artists and ReRip for repairs, and Drescher said ReRip will also use the materials to teach disadvantaged youth how to surf.
According to ReRip’s website, the company salvages and reuses “everything from fins and broken bits to complete boards.” The company repairs “rideable boards” to be surfed again; some boards are resold and many are given away to schools, nonprofits and people in need.
While the closest collection site to donate used surf materials is currently located in Ventura, the new collection bin initiative hopes to offer a more “accessible and convenient” means for student surfers to repurpose their trash.
The Isla Vista Recreation and Park District (IVRPD) is still discussing procedures for maintaining the bins and managing their capacity.
“The project needs stewardship,” said Dave Hubbard, director of the IVRPD, noting the tendency of “loose objects on Del Playa to get thrown off the cliff into the ocean.”
At their board meeting on Nov. 10, the IVRPD Board of Directors voiced potential concerns about the project’s implementation, including the possibility of Isla Vista party-goers “pulling donations out and throwing them around the park,” or “setting the bin on fire.”
“If the problem appears to be a reality, we can add a lock to the bins or erect a fence that will surround the bins,” said Surfrider organizers in their proposal. “Surfrider officers will frequently check the bins to organize materials and report to ReRip when a donation pickup is needed.”
Together, I.V. Surfrider and IVRPD plan to make adjustments to the proposed wood box design and are considering incorporating surf and environmentalism-themed art on the bin’s frame to deter vandalism.
With design proposals still underway, I.V. Surfrider aims to finalize the sustainability project by the middle of Winter Quarter.
A version of this story appeared on p.3 of the Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016 print edition of the Daily Nexus.