recycled tires


tire.jpg  Once upon a bizarre summer job, I found myself gripping for a film crew hired by the University of Minnesota to make a documentary about wetlands management.  For one shoot, we got up early to attend a demo in the middle of a swampy area where people with ideas for reducing the impact of logging trucks had gathered to share their inventions.

The demo included two sections: actual bridges, for which groups had put together more conventional crossings and ground covering.  The ground covering group was a real mixed bag of entrepreneurs and environmentalists.  Local rangers marked off a large circular track and each participant covered one section of the track with his or her materials.  Next, a logger drove a huge truck around and around over all of the materials.  Finally, a team from the university lifted up the covering materials and assessed the damages.  It was a surreal experience: watching a pristine area of nature be destroyed in order to mitigate future destruction of a much larger area.  One of the more memorable ideas came from a man named Lenny whose master plan it was to unroll huge spools of flattened old tires on the wetlands and have the trucks drive over them.  Most of the other ideas involved wood chips, plastic tarp or some combination of the two.  Lenny had developed his tire carpets as a way for the army to clear land fields.  It was remarkably effective, he said, to drive a tank through unwinding old tires and detonating old mines.  Sadly, the army didn’t want to buy his product because if and when they did clear fields, they preferred seeking out and collecting mines (a more costly process).

Now, I only have Lenny’s word to go on for all of this, so let’s all swallow our salt now.  The only thing I know for sure is that unprocessed old tires are no good for protecting wetlands from logging truck damage and that Lenny was a creative old guy with an unusual product that needed a home.  I don’t know what ever happened to Lenny, but I hope he hooked up with the IWMB, because they have a ton of ideas on their site for what to do with old tires.


One Response to “recycled tires”

  1. esther Says:

    cant’t remember the site, but I read somewhere about people using and piling old tires to grow potatoes in….

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