300 million tires are thrown out each year in Canada and the US alone. Instead
of accumulating in landfills, vacant lots, and your garage, the City of
Vancouver has a new plan for those unused eyesores. In an effort to become the
greenest city in the world by 2020, Vancouver is testing a new way to make use
of your worn out tires... by turning them into sidewalks!
According to the Vancouver Sun, the city has been experimenting with rubber panels for the past five years. If you live on East 17th Avenue between St. George and Carolina, you’ve been walking on Vancouver’s first full rubber sidewalk! The city will be monitoring the durability of this walkway for the next five years and if all goes well, they’ll consider installing them near senior’s centres and hospitals. Some of the benefits of these fire-resistant rubber sidewalks are:
- Lower greenhouse gases because tires are recycled, not disposed of
- Longer lasting than concrete and concrete does not have to be created
- Installation is straightforward, similar to concrete, and easier
- Panels can be lifted to trim tree roots underneath
- Flexible and doesn’t crack like concrete which can be a tripping hazard
- Softer surface for walkers, joggers, the elderly and the injured
the cost of these recycled sidewalks are 25-30% more expensive than concrete,
maintenance should be easier and cheaper, therefore paying off in the long run. For years European, Asian, and American cities have been using rubber sidewalk, now it's Vancouver's turn! If you’re looking to put some pep in your step, look no further, head down to
the 500 block of East 17th!