Many years ago I went to a retreat at a nature resort. They were years ahead of their time in terms of sustainability and we were treated to a tour of the facilities and the efforts they were making. The trails had a unique feature that stood out for me; they were created entirely from recycled rubber. This was the first I had heard of this at the time, but today it is more common than ever.
Instead of filling up landfills, Ontario Tire Stewardship ensures old tires are being recycled to create useful rubber products like rubber mulch, rubber paving, rubber bricks and Acoustic Underlay & Carpet Pad.
Ontario Tire Stewardship also created the Community Renewal Fund. The fund awards eligible Ontario-based communities and organizations up to $50,000 towards the purchase and installation of Ontario-manufactured recycled rubber products such as athletic and arena flooring, roof shakes, sidewalk pavers, and even playground surfacing.
My children’s school has a gorgeous playground that is very safe because the surface is created with rubber tiles. There is no concern about broken bones or scraped knees at that playground, even though the kids are often involved in somewhat risky play. Kids need to jump and climb, and this type of surface ensures they are safe to do so. Surfaces like this that are created with recycled tires are twice as valuable because they encourage safety and sustainability.
This infographic shows us exactly what happens after a tire is retired from its original job.
The Community Renewal Fund has already helped many Ontario communities improve their playgrounds, fitness centres, conservation areas and schools. Visit their website to see if your community, school or organization qualifies for the Community Renewal Fund.