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Land cleanup

 
Posts: 3
Location: Zone 6a Missouri
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Hoping to get some input. I know tires are a hot topic. I'm inclined to think they're not good overall. That being said, I probably have a couple hundred of the things dumped all over our place. We bought land that had been formerly owned by scrappers who threw anything of no value to them into the woods. We've moved several trailer loads of the things (70 or so per load) and have more left to clean up.  Paying to recycle is out of our budget so I'm left with finding a solution for putting them to use or burying them. Given that they're already decomposing in my space I'm looking for a "least worst" solution for putting them to use. I'm not going to grow food in them. I'm probably not going to grow anything in them, but maybe ornamentals. What suggestions have you got for me?
 
master steward
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Location: USDA Zone 8a
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Melissa, when it comes to tires you might hear the good, the bad, and the ugly.

My suggestion is if you have them it is better to recycle them.

Here are some threads that might give you or others some ideas on how to use them:

https://permies.com/t/86373/tires-garden

https://permies.com/t/2889/tires-safe-gardens

https://permies.com/t/92928/tires-wood-marbles-playground

I am hoping that these threads will give you some inspiration that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
 
pollinator
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Once a year our town has "Free Tire Day" at the transfer station. You can take in 5 tires per person and drop them off for free. I was able to get rid of 15 old tires with two friends riding in the pickup with me. It costs $3.00 per tire any other day of the year.
 
Posts: 95
Location: Sierra Nevada foothills, 350 m, USDA 8b, sunset zone 7
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Melissa,

Frequently the hidden price of buying the land is the cleanup that has to be done. Because someone turned the place into a dump it does not mean you have to suffer. Tires do not belong to anything else than a vehicle. They are disgusting, toxic creation. My friend bought a property with a brick walled well, 70 feet deep and filled to the brim with old tv sets, tires and various trash. He removed it all - it belonged to the dumpsite. Do not allow previous trashy owners' practice to affect your life.
 
pollinator
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Location: Boston, Massachusetts
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You could try offering them for free to someone to pickup. You may not have a need or desire to use them for anything, but someone else may.
A Craigslist ad for "free tires" might be one avenue. Truck and tractor tires are wanted by cross-fit enthusiasts.

You might get more/all of them gone if you found someone wanting to build an earthship. There's a whole earthship forum here on Permies! You could start a thread, offering them for free? or a trade for help retrieving them all from your land? or pay someone less than the recycling fee, to take them all? it's up to you what sort of deal to make.

There might also be a deal to be made, once you have collected them all, to have the tire recycler come get the whole lot with a big truck, at your place. Rather than $3 a piece, it might be $500 (a made up figure ) to send the guy with the truck to get them all.

No matter WHO takes them, they aren't going to want them full of water. (neither are you in the meantime...) So, best to cover with something to keep the rain off and not breed mosquitoes! This is one reason municipalities offer free/subsidized tire recycling...

One thought for a use for them: the tires can be used to stabilize sloped roadways, by cutting the sidewalls out of one side and covering the roadway-to-be with the tires, then filling them and the spaces in between with the road gravel. The "cells" created by the tires will hold most of the gravel in place against erosion.
 
master pollinator
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Location: Canadian Prairies - Zone 3b
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I would consider using them as stabilizers in areas that will never be used for food production.

Up here we don't see tire dumping very often. We pay an up-front disposal fee when we buy a new tire, and the local recycling depots take the dead ones at no charge with no questions asked.
 
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I have seen used tires filled with dirt, stacked in alternating rows and used as a retaining wall . _-_-_-_-_
 
pollinator
Posts: 513
Location: Central Texas zone 8a, 800 chill hours 28 blessed inches of rain
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A suggestion if I may.  Tire shops like Discount Tire or Les Schwab have used tires picked up by the truck load.  If you have a Chain Brand tire shop in your area, it would cost nothing to stop in and talk to a Manager, on a slow day, and ask him who they use to pick up/ recycle tires.  If he does not know the vendor's name or contact information, his Regional Manager (his boss) does.  Can't hurt to ask and it cost them nothing to provide a contact.  I am certain they are paying less per tire to dispose than the general public.  

As far as putting them to use, people building Earthships use them to build the walls of homes.  You may want to post in the Earthship Forum

for free tires to see if someone local needs them.
 
pollinator
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Location: Central Maine (Zone 5a/4b)
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Hi Melissa,
Do you have any larger farms in the area? I live in farm country, and the farms around here use tires to hold down the silage tarps. It might be a place to get rid of some of your tires for free. I don't know if they would need a hundred, unless they were setting up a new spot, but most of the ones around here would gladly take a few more.
 
pollinator
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Location: Bendigo , Australia
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In Australia they are shredded and used in the construction of roads very successfully.
 
Rich Rayburn
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Regarding tires as road fill, they have also been using shredded tires as road fill in Minnesota for years. the technical term is Tire Derived Aggregate. Although I would have questions about this technology from an environmental aspect.
 
John C Daley
pollinator
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Rich, it is a fair question and I will follow it up with a mate who is a world expert on the topic, we have often chatted about the
matter as it was being developed.
In South Africa it is also used in a similar manner.
The rubber is incorporated in the bitumen surface only.
 
Melissa Sisk
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Location: Zone 6a Missouri
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Regarding the idea to shred them- we do have recyclers in the area that charge to shred them and then charge to sell the shreds. It's a good business model for them. I like the idea of offering them to others for their building projects. We've got a couple hundred of them probably all told so it could be a worthwhile option for someone. I also like the idea of offering them to farmers for their silage tarps- we're surrounded by about 1000 acres of cattle land on 3 sides and I know other farms in the area do silage. I appreciate all the actionable solutions suggested!
 
pollinator
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Location: Porter, Indiana
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The tire fairy drops off tires at my acreage from time to time. This past year, I participated in my county's annual free tire drop off to get rid of four of them. There was about an hour wait to get rid of the things, and took 20 minutes to the site so in the future I'll probably just pay the ~$3/tire to have them recycled.
 
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