Old domes never die; they just deflate. Have you ever wondered what happens to the old domes that we replace? We’d like to say that domes last forever—but just like any structure, they do eventually reach the end of their lifespan.
Domes, especially newer ones, can last decades before reaching the end of the line but The Farley Group have seen many domes on their way out. Fortunately, the most common reason for taking down an old dome is to make room for a new one. A new dome always brings enough excitement to wash away any sadness of deflating an aging air structure.
But what happens to that great big dome? It would seem wasteful to dump it in a landfill, wouldn’t it?
A throwaway society and the rise of consumerism have been a major problem for the 21st century. Landfills are bursting and the environment has suffered. The last thing that we need to throw on top of that pile of junk is a mound of dome material, purposely designed to be resilient and not break down. So instead of adding to the problem, we’ve always done what makes the most sense ecologically, and logically. Recycling!
Some domes are taken down because a larger or smaller dome is replacing them, or they simply need a facelift. When this happens, a dome may still be fine to reuse. The Farley Group have had a couple success stories giving old domes new leases on life in a new location. This goes double for used generators, doors, or anything else that is reusable. This can save a customer money, and help the environment.
Sometimes though, a dome just isn’t salvageable. Perhaps the dome has tears, the fabric is old, or there just isn’t a place for it. When these domes are taken down, the process involves cutting that dome up into manageable square swaths of fabric. These fabric squares then make perfect tarps!
Dome fabric is amazing stuff. Waterproof, resistant to tears, extremely durable—the fabric creates a barrier to water, snow, wind, or any inclement weather. These dome tarps are perfect for many uses so we usually donate them to local farmers that eagerly accept.
Most store bought tarps are only engineered for temporary use and end up tearing or falling apart with mild use. Dome tarps are suited for the worst that a farmer can throw up against it!
Part of creating and using materials as durable as those that we use means that it’s important to have a plan in place to deal with them. A hard-learned lesson facing the world now is what to do with things that will not break down in a landfill. Plastics, glass, foams, insulation, metals—many of these things will last hundreds of years before they break down. The more uses we can find for something after its intended purpose, the healthier the planet will be.
In an ideal world, everything can be repurposed and dome recycling is a step in that direction.