Flat Tire Decor: Rubber Tires Making A Green Difference In The Garden

Garden, Green Ideas — By on May 27, 2011 11:00 am

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This month I got to try out a cool sustainable product which is made in the USA from 100% recycled tires; the Newport Basket from Flat Tire Décor.

While I am sure it has hundreds of uses, I used the basket as a carryall in the garden and loved it. Sometimes my fabric carryalls get cut by the sharp tools I use, but not the Newport – it was fantastically strong. It stands 8″ high, has an 8″ base and a 12″ opening at the top with a body, bottom, and straps made from 100% recycled scrap tires.

With an over 200 feet of public garden out behind my back fence, you can imagine that I need to haul around a lot of weeding tools. This basket was a work horse and really enabled me to bring all of my tools around without having to use a big wheelbarrow or large bucket. I liked the basket and felt it was a good idea in the garden as a sustainable way to carry around your tools.

Flat Tire Deco Container and Carry All

 

*Note – Because the FTC requires it, I am noting that the carryall basket product testing was sponsored by Flat Tire Décor. Additional information can be found about the basket on the Flat Tire Décor website – www.flattiredecor.com.

Also, tools shown in the above photo were also sent to me at no cost by Corona Tools and DeWit Tools. I can and DO use these products myself and like them! The opinion expressed above is my own.

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12 Comments

  1. Rob says:

    No Thanks.Sorry but toxic chemical tires are neither green or sustainable. There have been plenty of ideas to incorporate plastics and toxic tires into consumer products over the years and most should be banned from certain use especially as garden hoses,mulch and so on… never allow kids or pets near them! Such products should carry a hazard warning regarding the toxic chemicals and the heavy metals used to make the synthetic rubber.

  2. Rob – I'd agree if I was planting the tire product, but I'm using it while wearing gloves to carry tools, not eating it or putting edible plants in the container. I'm also not having children play with the basket.

    Shawna

  3. Rob says:

    Shawna, If you were aware of the long list of toxic substances used to make the original product in the first place such as arsenic lead mercury chromium zinc as a small example plus the long list of chemicals would you or others consciously have bought it in the first place ? Bottom line is that toxic tires should be reclaimed in a qualified facility to recover the dangerous ingredients and not remanufactured into any form to be resold to the unaware consumer-whether they wear gloves or hold their breath to avoid the fumes.

    Wow if there ever was a definition for anti green you are holding it ;)

  4. 1234 says:

    Shawna- Mike Hottinger from Flat Tire here. I just had to write to respectfully disagree with Rob (all of his comments) and some of yours. Recycled Tires have been used for MANY years in the form of crumb rubber that is used on playgrounds, running tracks, and stadium surfaces, and more recently – mulch. There are many studies, most notably by the EPA that conclude that using crumb rubber for playground surfaces pose no significant health or environmental risk. You can read more at
    http://www.libertytire.com/ProductSafety.aspx which has a link to the EPA study. Your statement that you wouldn't let a child play with the basket almost indicates room for concern where there is none. More to follow

  5. 1234 says:

    Mike from Flat Tire Decor again…..also check out http://www.tirecrafting.com/FAQ.html#Toxic

    “Aren’t tires toxic? How will that effect my flowers and vegetables?
    There are organic puritans still quoting an international environmental magazine, Organic Gardening, Jul-Aug 1997, article headline “TIRES ARE TOXIC” “WARNING: Using old automobile tires around your plants (in any form) is hazardous to the health of those plants!” It then went on to justify the article from two sources, USDA researcher and compost expert Rufus L. Chaney, Ph.D., claiming that zinc released from tires is toxic to plants, and “A recent study in Australia claiming tires are toxic to petunias & impatiens.”
    Mr. Farber contacted Dr. Chaney soon after the article appeared. Dr. Chaney told him that this magazine miss-quoted him. He said that he knows of only one toxin in the rubber of a tire in its solid state, and that is zinc. Zinc leached from burned tires, ground-up tires and the tire dust washed and blown from highways is toxic to some plants and many aquatic plants and animals in acidic soil and water (pH 6 or below). He said humans require zinc, and zinc is used in fertilizers to neutralize alkaline soils. He also said that zinc will not escape from a solid tire, but when a tire is left out in the weather for a few decades (30 years or more) it might decay and release its zinc.
    Mr. Farber tried but could not locate the “recent study in Australia” but from his test gardens, he has photo proof of petunias and impatiens vigorously overflowing the same ten tire planters and in the same soil (adding only yearly loss) every year for more than thirty years.
    Consider this: From the 2007 U.S. Geological Survey, “each year, approximately one million tons of tire rubber dust is washed and blown from our highways.” This must integrate with our water, soil and air. No doubt, a substantial amount of tire dust is accumulating in everyone's “organic garden”.
    Mr. Farber is aware of another scary article. “Toxic Components Leaching from Tire Rubber” is the headline to a six page research study including text, charts and graphs proving their points, published on line, 3 May 2007 by Springer Science + Business Media, University of Goteborg, Sweden. It had nothing to do with gardening in tires. It was about zinc from tire dust killing bugs that fish feed on. Their conclusions were the same as Dr. Chaney's. Solid tires do not leach zinc.
    If anyone has documented proof that shows a danger of toxicity from solid tires, Mr. Farber would like to be contacted with that information. Mr. Farber has been using tires for a container for his vegetqables for over 30 years. If there is legitimate evidence that this practice is harmful he would want to know for his own health as well as for those who have planted their vegetables in recycled tires at his recommendation. You may contact Mr. Farber at retired@tirecrafting.com.”

    More to folow

  6. 1234 says:

    Mike from Flat Tire Decor Here again… Again, more from http://www.tirecrafting.com/FAQ.html#Toxic

    “Tires are made from petroleum which is toxic, therefore tires are toxic! How can you justify gardening in them?!
    Everything in life is a potential hazard. The trick is to research beyond headlines and weigh benefits against risks.
    When tires are burned, otherwise harmless chemicals mix and change form to create compounds which are harmful. It is now proven that the release of excessive amounts of hydrocarbons from fossil fuels is contributing to a myriad adverse effects to the environment and public health. Products from crude-oil are at the top of that list. No other country is more at fault than the U.S. with transportation in the forefront. Commerce is moving goods across our nation one semi tractor trailer at a time, each requiring its own hydrocarbon spewing power plant Private transportation fares no better. Added to this are the hydrocarbons released in the manufacture of fuel, tires, and asphalt highways. There are solutions to these problems and we must fight for them. But that is not the issue here.
    Used tires already exist and in their solid state they are as safe or safer than any other construction material. The process and the result of this global discard nightmare being recycled by industry, whether grinding them up for road base, burning them as fuel, or recouping the oil, releases more hydrocarbons while costing the global economy billions of dollars for tire cleanup and commercial recycling. Modifying tires to create green space and home gardening available to everyone would not only absorbs hydrocarbons, it could well be the key to salvation for practically every family on the planet that is otherwise excluded from adequate sustenance. Personal tire recycling potential benefits far outweigh all perceived hazards. A portion of tire taxes for tire disposal, ought to be channeled in this direction.”

  7. 1234 says:

    Shawna-

    I should have been more specific in my original post, I only mentioned the comment regarding “children playing with the basket” as not being worthy of concern. I also have a problem with the disclaimer that you used it while wearing gloves. It has the veiled interpretation that there would be a concern to hold while not wearing gloves. There is no concern. I actually believe there is no problem planting edibles in the baskets. Is the claim that these tires will not decompose for half a century, but they will release a large amount of toxins in the time it takes to grow a potato???

  8. 1234 says:

    Mike from Flat Tire again. 2 of my posts didn't get posted for some reason. Also Check out. http://www.tirecrafting.com/FAQ.html

    “Aren’t tires toxic? How will that effect my flowers and vegetables?
    There are organic puritans still quoting an international environmental magazine, Organic Gardening, Jul-Aug 1997, article headline “TIRES ARE TOXIC” “WARNING: Using old automobile tires around your plants (in any form) is hazardous to the health of those plants!” It then went on to justify the article from two sources, USDA researcher and compost expert Rufus L. Chaney, Ph.D., claiming that zinc released from tires is toxic to plants, and “A recent study in Australia claiming tires are toxic to petunias & impatiens.”
    Mr. Farber contacted Dr. Chaney soon after the article appeared. Dr. Chaney told him that this magazine miss-quoted him. He said that he knows of only one toxin in the rubber of a tire in its solid state, and that is zinc. Zinc leached from burned tires, ground-up tires and the tire dust washed and blown from highways is toxic to some plants and many aquatic plants and animals in acidic soil and water (pH 6 or below). He said humans require zinc, and zinc is used in fertilizers to neutralize alkaline soils. He also said that zinc will not escape from a solid tire, but when a tire is left out in the weather for a few decades (30 years or more) it might decay and release its zinc.
    Mr. Farber tried but could not locate the “recent study in Australia” but from his test gardens, he has photo proof of petunias and impatiens vigorously overflowing the same ten tire planters and in the same soil (adding only yearly loss) every year for more than thirty years.
    Consider this: From the 2007 U.S. Geological Survey, “each year, approximately one million tons of tire rubber dust is washed and blown from our highways.” This must integrate with our water, soil and air. No doubt, a substantial amount of tire dust is accumulating in everyone's “organic garden”.
    Mr. Farber is aware of another scary article. “Toxic Components Leaching from Tire Rubber” is the headline to a six page research study including text, charts and graphs proving their points, published on line, 3 May 2007 by Springer Science + Business Media, University of Goteborg, Sweden. It had nothing to do with gardening in tires. It was about zinc from tire dust killing bugs that fish feed on. Their conclusions were the same as Dr. Chaney's. Solid tires do not leach zinc.
    If anyone has documented proof that shows a danger of toxicity from solid tires, Mr. Farber would like to be contacted with that information. Mr. Farber has been using tires for a container for his vegetqables for over 30 years. If there is legitimate evidence that this practice is harmful he would want to know for his own health as well as for those who have planted their vegetables in recycled tires at his recommendation. You may contact Mr. Farber at retired@tirecrafting.com.”

  9. 1234 says:

    Here is another highlight from http://www.tirecrafting.com/FAQ.html

    “Tires are made from petroleum which is toxic, therefore tires are toxic! How can you justify gardening in them?!
    Everything in life is a potential hazard. The trick is to research beyond headlines and weigh benefits against risks.
    When tires are burned, otherwise harmless chemicals mix and change form to create compounds which are harmful. It is now proven that the release of excessive amounts of hydrocarbons from fossil fuels is contributing to a myriad adverse effects to the environment and public health. Products from crude-oil are at the top of that list. No other country is more at fault than the U.S. with transportation in the forefront. Commerce is moving goods across our nation one semi tractor trailer at a time, each requiring its own hydrocarbon spewing power plant Private transportation fares no better. Added to this are the hydrocarbons released in the manufacture of fuel, tires, and asphalt highways. There are solutions to these problems and we must fight for them. But that is not the issue here.
    Used tires already exist and in their solid state they are as safe or safer than any other construction material. The process and the result of this global discard nightmare being recycled by industry, whether grinding them up for road base, burning them as fuel, or recouping the oil, releases more hydrocarbons while costing the global economy billions of dollars for tire cleanup and commercial recycling. Modifying tires to create green space and home gardening available to everyone would not only absorbs hydrocarbons, it could well be the key to salvation for practically every family on the planet that is otherwise excluded from adequate sustenance. Personal tire recycling potential benefits far outweigh all perceived hazards. A portion of tire taxes for tire disposal, ought to be channeled in this direction.”

  10. Samantha says:

    Odds are I won't be gnawing on the basket, so I'll definitely give them a try (and no, I'm not concerned about that limited exposure).
    My current totes, Tub Trugs, get pretty torn up by my heavier tools.

  11. Mike from Flat Tire – I so value a better understanding of the Flat Tire product and how it works. Of course, making sure that a product is safe for the end user is your most important concern and I can see you have gone to a great deal of research to better understand it.

    Thank you for your comments and follow through on this post – it is greatly appreciated.

    Shawna Coronado

  12. Wow, what a great idea! That definitely heavy duty, and seeing from the comments it sounds like it's safe to use.

    Might have to look into buying one!

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