When they are on your car, tires simply don't last. But once they are rolled off your wheels and into the local landfill, the long-lasting treads won't break down or decay. As a result, they tend to linger, creating ever-growing piles of old rubber. In fact, according to the EPA, Americans generate an average of 290 million worn tires each year. Resourceful folks are putting all that scrap to good use, finding new and inventive ways to recycle old tires. In the yard, transform tires into durable planters, indestructible raised beds or garden edging, establishing a resilient, weatherproof border.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Utility knife
- Small spade or pick
Place a tire on a hard, flat surface and carefully cut away the sidewall with a sharp utility knife. The sidewall is the portion of the tire where the manufacturer's name is printed, along with the tyre's size and model number.
Cut across the treads of the remaining piece of tire and pull the length of rubber straight, placing it flat on the ground. Cut the tire in half lengthwise, creating a 2- to 3-foot piece of durable, weatherproof edging.
Repeat the procedure on other tires until you have created enough edging to outline the area.
Dig around the perimeter of the garden with a small spade or pick, creating a narrow trench about 2 to 3 inches deep.
Insert the rim of the tire edging into the centre of the trench, and push the excavated soil against the rubber. Pat the soil firmly with your hands to help hold the edging in place.
Continue to insert tire pieces into the trench until it's filled.
Tips and warnings
- Correct shifting in the edging caused by the ground freezing and thawing. Pull up the piece of tire that is out of place and reinstall it, reinforcing the placement by mounding dirt behind it and pressing down firmly to hold the edging in place.
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