A company called Repurposed Materials bills themselves as "America's largest industrial thrift store."
"Anything that is obsolete to its primary industry," they write, "is of interest to us." The company buys up surplus inventory and difficult-to-recycle items, then re-sells them; all of it can be given a second life with a little creativity. Some examples:
Seller: "We have a bunch of unused steel stands that were built to hold hand sanitizer dispensers during Covid. Obviously, Covid, and thus demand for hand sanitizer has dropped to near zero. Can you find a 'repurpose' for these steel stands? It would be a disgrace to send these to scrap metal to just be melted down."
Suggested solution: "Put the right sign on them and your steel stands would be great for parking lot signage."
What can you do with decommissioned fire hoses? In Colorado, the U.S. Forest Service fills them with sand and uses them as speed bumps.
Another customer uses sections of fire hose to prevent lines from chafing at a sport fishing location.
Used rubber conveyor belts were purchased by a company that installs fiberglass pools. They use the belts as ground cover protection mats, so they can drive their tracked machines to the sites without tearing up their clients' land.
This farm turned conveyor belts into a feeding trough for camels.