As a building material
Almost any brick wall could potentially be a tyre wall. The self-contained Earthship Brighton building, for example, contains 900 old tyres, weighing around nine tons. The tyres have to be filled with earth. “You shovel the soil in and tamp it down,” . Using local earth is particularly eco-friendly, he points out, as there is no transport involved.Tyre walls will biodegrade in sunlight, but if they are rendered, they will last.
To make level crossings and roads
Rubber roads, which are being trialled, can be laid along old railway tracks. Each mile of road will use over 350,000 tyres and cost £1.4m per mile, compared to the average road building costs of over £20m per mile. The shock-absorbing properties of rubber are an added safety factor and the roads are durable and easy to maintain.
To make stationery
The Remarkable recycling company offers pencil cases, mouse mats, bookmarks, coasters and notebook covers made from old tyres, jauntily labelled “I used to be a car tyre”.
To make shoes
The Blackspot Unswoosher sneaker is made from 100 per cent organic hemp, with a sole made from recovered tyres.
To make sports surfaces and playgrounds
Playground surfaces based on recycled rubber granules are softer than concrete or tarmac.
To make carpet underlay
Crumbed recycled rubber makes a very durable carpet underlay.
Mulching the garden
Mulch with granulated tyres instead of bark and you’ll never have to replace your chippings.