In most communities, there are recycling programs that take back assorted stuff like electronics and car tires that are of no use to anyone. Here where I live, a lot of tire places will take the tires back and recycle them for you free of charge. But if you live in a community that does not have a program like this or you would rather use those old tires for something around your house, here are 5 great ways to recycle those old car tires you have no need for anymore:
Start a potato garden. Yep, old tires make great “guides” for growing potatoes in your backyard. One way to use tires is to stack three or four of them, fill them with soil and plant two to three seed pieces about 1 or 2 inches deep in the top tire. The black of the tire absorbs and radiates heat, and there usually is a heavy yield. Another method is to put a tire on the ground, fill it with soil and plant the potatoes within the tire. Plant two seed potatoes, whole or halved, about 2 inches deep. Once the potatoes have developed 3 or 4 inches of foliage growth, a second tire can be put on top of the first, Fill in with more soil, always leaving at least 2 inches of leaf growth above the soil level. Continue to fill as the plants grow. (For more info, check out HumeSeeds)
Build an Earthship. Of course, you will need more than a few tires and sure, your neighbors might not like it very much and you might have some zoning problems along the way, but if you live somewhere rural imagine the fun your kids would have with their very own Earthship in the backyard. Or, if you are truly adventurous, build yourself a guest house in the back 40. For more information on Earthships, check out the Wikipedia entry or visit Earthship Biotecture.
Do you happen to own a boat and you are growing tired of buying new bumpers for your dock every year? Old tires to the rescue! Knowledgeable boat owners probably already know this one, but old tires make great boat bumpers and they last a really long time.
Just like the old days, you can create a great swing that will last your kids (and you) their entire childhood using just tires and rope. Forget the plastic jungle gyms and easily breakable swings…throw some strong rope over a sturdy branch in the backward, tie it through the tire, and become the hero of the neighborhood to all the kids. Bonus points – Live near a lake and really make summer fun with a swing over the water.
Lastly, check with your local Department of Public Works or whomever builds your roads in your town. A lot of times they can use old tires to mix in with new road tar by grinding them up. Also, you can check with companies that make playground mats, as they use old tires as well to make that squishy surface that you might find in your child’s school. Either way, its a good way to use those old tires for a common good.
Whatever you do, do not throw tires into landfills. There are plenty of things that tires can be used for, and just throwing them away means that more materials need to be made to replace their other uses. Besides, don’t you want your own Earthship?