Promoting proper trash management and recycling in a culture where it is common practice to throw wrappers on the ground can be a strenuous and tiresome task. (Ok, corny joke out of the way.) In the United States alone, on average upwards of 300 million tires are disposed of annually, of which nearly 30 million are estimated to be left in landfills. Because of their extreme durability, amount of time to decompose (over 100 years), toxins released into the air and soil if burned, and extremely high number, tires are one of the more problematic wastes in the world.
The durability of tires also presents great opportunity for recycling, whether that be re-using the rubber for future tires (which only uses 30% of the energy needed to make a new tire , in effect reducing oil usage) or using them in everyday projects. We did our part this past week at the Chibulbut School, using tires to construct six tire gardens. Each grade is maintaining their own mini-garden, grades one to six. Between the six classes we are growing carrots, cilantro, and beets. Kamille plans to use the crops to make healthy snacks for the kids to use as a supplement to nutrition workshops she will be coordinating. The projects roll on….