‘Upcycled’ benches part of Kits Beach playground redevelopment


Kits residents can feel good about at least one aspect of the controversial Kitsilano Beach Park playground relocation and redevelopment.

Two of a local company’s reclaimed wood benches are slated for installation in about two weeks as part of the new, more accessible playground.

Reclaim Recycled Products founder and owner Bob Maydonik said the benches are being made from salvaged old growth red cedar blown down in Stanley Park during last year’s violent windstorm.

Salvaged old-growth red cedar from Stanley Park

Maydonik said the company’s mandate is to take what would otherwise be garbage and turn it into something improved, useful and valuable; in other words, ‘upcycling’.

Upcycling reduces the need for new raw materials by adding even more value to old products and is seen as the opposite of recycling.

In this case, wood that would have otherwise been burned or mulched is instead being sanded down and treated with a low VOC (volatile organic compound) stain and bee’s wax to create a unique slab bench.

“Building with garbage is cool. It’s about efficient use of our resources,” Maydonik said. “I think the main reason people like it is because it’s smart. I believe it represents an evolution of the way things used to be done.  It’s definitely the future.”

Example of reclaimed cedar bench

Plans for the new $500,000 accessible playground were announced last October by the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation. According to the board’s website, the project is expected to be completed this fall.

Last modified: September 16, 2010

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