Driving a vehicle you know you have to change your tires every 2-3 years depending on how much distance you have been driving. Now what happens to the used tires? Here in the Amazonas region of Ecuador not so long ago they where just dumped into the biggest river … Also most of the tires now land on landfills or get burned. Which is absolutely not smart. Tires are a huge headache when it comes to waste management and recycling. Yet alone in the USA the problem of scrap tires is an estimated 300 million tires which are “disposed” of annually! It’s of a worse issue for the so called 3rd world countries.
The ecological effects of tires can span a long time due to their slow decomposition, but they can be used in a great number of ways thanks to that the longevity of the material. There are various clever DIY ways that each of us can reuse and recycle them and save them from entering the environment or taking up space in our landfills.
For our use at finca PermaTree we came up with one real simple and very practical use for the tires. We make stairs out of them. We have already used tires as main construction material for many 100 meters of outdoor paths on the property.
It’s no rocket science. Very simple Do It Yourself work. First we dig a round and flat hole with the size of the tire. Then the tire is filled with soil and finally the soil is reinforced with some heavy duty tool like a big hammer so it really compacted and there is no air. Ready is the first step. Living on a hill we depend on good stairs to get from one place to another.
Video of the construction of another outdoor stair at finca PermaTree in Ecuador.
Another use we have found is for erosion control of a water damm.