Tire houses & other tire recycling ideas

My family owns 60 or so acres in the mountains of southern Humboldt County in Northern California, where I was raised.

While he was living, my father was an eccentric, ecologically minded individual.
At some point he decided that the best thing to do with the used tires retired by our family (as well by others, on occasion) was to use them as erosion control around our property.

Pretty much every gully and ditch within hurling distance of any “road” wide enough to accomodate a 1972 Toyota Landcruiser and trailer, contains a good bit of used tires.

Unfortunately, they aren’t very good at controlling erosion (at least not in rain-soaked Southern Humboldt with Dad’s technique), and my mother has tasked me with facilitating their removal and relocation.

The first thing that came to mind was using them (or giving them to someone to use them) for the type of adobe construction conceived by southwestern archetect Michael Reynolds.


However, it will take some considerable lobbying within my family to convince my Mom, brother, and sister-in-law that we…

  • need another structure on our property (there are already 2 houses, a barn, and an unused, rapidly deteriorating, old double-wide mobile home)
  • can and should learn and implement an obscure, labor-intensive construction technique to build it using Dad’s used tires.

Hence my plight…What else can I do, in an ecologically responsible way, to get rid of these tires? How might I provide our tires as building materials for those folks building or planning to build tire houses? Does anyone know of construction companies who employ this technology to whom I might speak about donating them?

The State of California has subsidized several public works projects using recycled tires, including at least one in Humboldt County. They also create “rubberized asphalt concrete” (RAC) which includes shredded tires. Call your local government or the California Integrated Waste Management Board (CIWMB) for details on how you can dispose of them locally. You can reach the Humboldt County Waste Reduction Team at 268-2225 – they have a publication that addresses the alternate uses for used tires.

Well that’s a convenient coincidence. I forgot to even mention how remote Humboldt is or how difficult/expensive it would be to take them very far. I’ll definitely give them a call. Thanks for the info.