Creative Ways of Reusing Old Tires

Recycled Tire Scraps - Art

Tires play an important role in a vehicle’s overall safety and performance. How often you’ll need to get new tires depends on a number of contributing factors including the type of car you own, tire softness, where and how you drive, and maybe if there’s a special offer on new tires at your local dealership. When you take your car in for service, the technician should let you know when it’s time to replace your tires, but it’s a good practice to check your vehicle’s tire tread yourself as well just to be safe.

Sadly, an estimated 20-percent of used tires are disposed of illegally. Tire dumping is a global crisis, but there are some people who’ve found creative and useful ways to re-purpose old tires outside the classic tire swing or planter.


Rubberized Asphalt , Building Materials, and Fuel

Potholes and cracks in asphalt are caused by heavy traffic loads along with the natural vertical and horizontal movements happening beneath the road’s surface due to temperature fluctuations and shifting of earth. Rubberized asphalt is a mix of traditional asphalt and recycled rubber from scrap tires, resulting in a longer lasting, skid-resistant, and environmentally-conscious surface. Liberty Tire Recycling, based out of Pittsburgh, PA, is a premier provider of tire recycling services in the United States, reclaiming more than 33 percent of the nation’s discarded tires and re-purposing them into rubberized asphalt, industrial feedstock, rubber mulch, tire-derived aggregate, and fuel.

Cracked Asphalt / Pavement


Sandals and Floor Mats

Detroit has 35,000 fewer illegally dumped tires, thanks to the efforts of Rev. Faith Fowler, executive director of Cass Community Social Services. Her nonprofit organization, Detroit Treads, has helped to give people and old tires a second chance at life. Since its inception in 2007, Detroit Treads has helped turn waste into sandals, mud mats, and more importantly, jobs and, hope for some of Detroit’s homeless. Ford recently showcased the Cass Community Center on their Ford Go Further channel. Watch the video below.

Detroit Treads - Ford Go Further


Sustainable Housing and Retainer Walls

Earthship Biotecture builds passive solar and sustainable building structures using natural and recycled materials such as earth-filled tires, cans, and bottles. An Earthship is an “off-the-grid ready” home with minimal or non-existent reliance on public utilities and fossil fuels by use of the sun and thermal energy to regulate indoor temperature. The earth-rammed tire walls provide thermal mass that soak in heat from the sun during the day and radiate that energy at night, keeping the interior climate relatively comfortable throughout the entire day. Earthships have been successfully constructed all over the world, for both residential and humanitarian relief efforts and provide a viable infrastructure for sustainable architecture for the future.

Earthship Biotecture

Wall made of used tires


Shingles and Roofing Materials

Following the same principles of thermal mass and green building as Earthships, companies like Euroshield sell a variety of eco-friendly and sustainable shingles using recycled tires. Euroshield estimates 600-1,000 used rubber tires are recycled and reused per average-sized home.

shingles made of used tire scraps

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