G’s Spot – What To Do With Old Tyres. Recycled Tyre Garden Planters

We all have access to used tyres as they are pretty much a part of our daily lives. The question is What should you do with your old tyres?

You could stick them in your backyard and make them into planters. You can dump them in an empty lot, if you want to be an irresponsible litterbug. You could throw them over the fence at your local landfill site during the night because they don’t really allow you to dump them the during the day. Hey, you could burn them and pollute the air with poisonous toxins!

I’m just teasing you of course! If you’re a good citizen, you won’t do any of those things. You’ll do what any responsible person would do – you’ll recycle them!

I became very interested in recycling used tyres early last year when we began creating garden furniture, mobiles and various designs for plant hangers. In this particular article I will look into various garden planters that myself and a friend have designed and created. Next month I will talk about our fantastic tyre furniture.

Working with used tyres is not for the faint hearted. Cutting through the steel belt is very hard work indeed. Initially using hacksaws and boning knives to cut through the tyres proved to be blistering work aswell as painstakingly slow. Eventually I found that using a hand grinder with metal cutting discs did the job pretty well and that I could create various designs, together with a neater looking cut. It has proved to be quite dirty work though, so be warned.

What I have learnt from working with used tyres is that nothing is wasted. Every bit of the tyre can be used after the plant hanger has been created. Tyres can be turned inside out to widen the surface area for the plants to have sufficient room for their root systems. It is also quite nice to paint the outside of the tyre planters to give them a bit of character.

For more ideas on recycling tyre planters and the various approaches in creating them try Google on the internet and you’ll be blown away by all the creative ideas people have come up with.

There has always been a great deal of controversy about growing food crops in tires because of all the synthetic chemicals contained in them. Those chemicals include arsenic, benzene, cadmium, lead, chromium, mercury, nickle, phenol, etc.
Whether or not those chemicals will leach out into the soil is debated but there is some evidence that they do over time. Whether or not the foods grown in them will take up those chemicals is also debated.

So basically it comes down to your choice and I’d recommend you first do some research into exactly what chemicals they contain and then make up your mind. Just Google ‘chemicals found in tires’.

I find that decorative plants such as succulents and flowering plants are great in tyre planters as their root systems are pretty shallow. I have experimented with some foods such as lettuces and spinach as I feel that their lifespan is relatively quick thereby reducing the long term exposure to the leeching toxins of the rubber.

I will be posting more recycled tyre pictures of projects we have done on my facebook page “Green Valley Foods” if you are interested in perusing at some stage. In the meantime enjoy the creative world of recycling anything and everything, you’ll be surprised how much awesome stuff you can create and just have fun. The best part is that you will be doing your bit to make a the world a better place slowly but surely. Until next time, take care and ‘Reduce, Re-use and Recycle.’

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GGregg O – a Chef who’s passionate about life in the Midlands, and recycling.  Re-using, Re-vitalising and turning ugly into pretty is what makes him tick … food fuels his creativity.