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Who says that tires only belong on cars and bikes? One of the best places to recycle tires and make a difference is in your own garden. Since rubber tires are so durable, they’re great for reuse in the garden as tire planters and more. Reusing old tires is not only a great way to recycle, but also helps you make the most of a small garden space and sometimes even increase your garden’s bounty.
Depending on your local recycling center, there may be a small charge to dispose of used tires, so an added bonus to using recycled tires in your garden is saving a bit of money. The Rubber Manufacturers Association tell us that close to 300 million scrap tires are generated annually in the U.S. Check out some pictures and tips for what to do with old tires to help you rolling.
Reuse Tires in Your Garden
Tire planters. Tires can be used on your porch, patio or deck for herbs as well as compact flowers and plants such as cherry tomatoes, potatoes and peppers.
Raised beds. Growing vegetables in raised beds, especially in colder regions, will help jump start your vegetable garden because soil that is elevated will warm faster. Due to the heat-absorbing quality of the color black, dark rubber tires amplify this warming effect. Remember to keep a good eye on your young plants to make sure it’s not too hot for them.
Blackberries and raspberries benefit from tire planters in raised beds, which make them easier to prune back and mulch.
Tire wall. Fill used tires with sand, soil, or gravel to create a retaining wall and prevent erosion. There’s a layout to the structure of a tire wall, so make use of additional tips here.
What Else You Can Do
- Never just dump your tires. Pretty much every state has developed a scrap tire program, including state scrap tire laws and regulations. Check out innovative programs for scrap tire recycling in each state here.
- Purchase tires with longer tread life so they last longer. You can also try retreading your worn tires before you need to recycle them.
- Use public transportation and carpool whenever possible to slow wear and tear on your tires.
- Buy recycled-content gardening equipment and tools, such as garden hoses made from old tires, and look for other products made with recycled rubber.
- Take a look at these other ideas for recycled garden planters.