swings may be what most people think of when talking about tires in playgrounds, but Ontario Tire Stewardship (OTS) is working hard to change that. A recent study
by OTS found that over a third of Ontarians surveyed feel that public spaces such as playgrounds, parks and recreational facilities in their communities are outdated. It may come as a surprise, but recycled tires have the potential to revitalize outdoor spaces, and far beyond that tire swing!
OTS helps recycle each of the 12 million tires introduced yearly in the province, and works with manufacturers to convert those tires into useful new products. Talking to children about tire recycling and showing them some of these products is a great way to start educating them about sustainability, and to get kids thinking about the lifecycle of the products they use day-to-day.
From Black to Green: The Lifecycle of a Tire
When tires reach the end of their lives, they get recycled and find new life in the form of innovative products. This educational, animated video demonstrates exactly how the tire recycling process is rolled out. It is typically a three-step process.
First, tires get dropped off at a local tire disposal collector where they are sorted and sent to a recycling facility. At the facility, the tires are cleaned and broken down into smaller and smaller pieces until eventually a fine material called crumb rubber is created. The crumb rubber is then used in the manufacturing of a variety of products including playground surfacing, decorative stepping stones, athletic flooring, walkway pavers and more. See the photos below to view these products or visit www.GreenMyTires.ca. Teaching kids about tire recycling is a fun and creative way to engage them on sustainability and will help mold them into environmentally-progressive citizens.
For more information on tire recycling and Ontario Tire Stewardship, visit www.RethinkTires.ca and follow us on Twitter @RethinkTires.
Products made from recycled tire rubber:
SofTILE is a durable, slip-resistant playground surface made entirely of recycled materials.
Kids playing in the Kate’s Kause playground in Elmira – playground surface created using SofTILE.
Multy Home Stepping Stones
Multy Home’s envirotile™ Stepping Stones are made entirely of recycled tires. They are used as pathways and decorative accents in gardens.
Reversible, decorative, and environmentally-friendly.
Crumb rubber mulch doesn’t fade, compress, or rot. This makes it cleaner and safer for gardens, landscaping, and playgrounds than traditional mulch.
Rubber mulch costs 65% less than wood mulch over a five-year period.